The Georgia Southern Eagles may have won their Sun Belt matchup Saturday against Troy 20-13, but they suffered a big loss. Wednesday it was officially announced that senior running back J.D. King’s season has come to a close as he will have to have surgery to repair a torn ACL.
“Unfortunately, J.D. King’s MRI results revealed that he tore the ACL on his left knee and will be out the remainder of the season,” said Coach Chad Lunsford. “J.D. is a great football player and will be missed on the playing field, however he is an even better person and leader on this team. His leadership and love for his teammates are invaluable and will still be a massive part of our program as we look to finish 2020 strong.”
The Eagles got more bad news as tight end Beau Johnson has an ankle injury that will keep him out 4-6 weeks. The good news for the Eagles is they expect to have senior running back Wesley Kennedy back after an injury to his mouth forced him to the sidelines during Saturday’s game with Troy.
“As far as Wesley Kennedy goes, he did suffer a mouth injury during the Troy game that forced him out,” said Lunsford. “All indications are he is fine and should be ready to go this week. It will be big to get him back. With Beau we will just have to see how the rehab goes, it could be sooner it could be later. We are hopeful he may be able to be with us for at least our bowl game.”
The good news for the Eagles is they had multiple running backs step up in the absence of King and Kenndy last week. Redshirt freshman Gerald Green came through with 106 yards rushing including a 69-yard score, which was the longest touchdown of the season for the Eagles.
“We have a next man up philosophy here,” said Lunsford. “I feel confident in the running backs that we have. Matt LaRoche, Logan Wright and Gerald Green all showed they can step up and make plays for us. We have to continue to bring guys around at tight end. Beau Johnson is a big loss, but I feel like those guys can get it done for us as well.”
Lunsford also said he may bring some younger guys into the fold such as true freshman Jalen White who impressed many in some of the Eagles preseason scrimmages.
“Jalen White will be a guy who will start to get extra reps for us,” said Lunsford. “Losing J.D., he is a bigger back and Jalen kind of brings that same type of profile for us. I’m not sure when he will be ready to play, but we will start to bring him along and get him ready if he’s needed.”
“With Beau out one guy that has come to mind to help us in that area is Sean Pelkisson,” said Lunsford. “He’s a guy I’d like to get going on special teams, and then start getting some tight end reps. A lot of it comes down to if guys are ready and mature enough to handle it. We do have a lot of young guys that we are playing that won’t make rookie mistakes and hurt us in a football game. We have plenty of talent, we just have to make sure they are ready to play mentally in a football game.”
The Eagles will host Texas State Saturday at 3:30 at Paulson Stadium.