Will George Pickens play in SEC Championship Game? Signs point to yes

Georgia football star receiver George Pickens has been out all year after tearing his ACL in the spring but his return to the Dawgs starting lineup appears imminent.

George Pickens is nearing a return to the Georgia football lineup.

The star receiver has been out all year after tearing his ACL in spring practice but is in uniform for Saturday’s game vs. Charleston Southern.

That isn’t, however, a clear sign that he will enter the game today.

It’s more a sign that home teams are allowed to dress out more players. But it is a sign that Pickens could be nearing his return to the field.

George Pickens could make season debut by SEC Championship Game

Pickens has gradually increased his activity in practice and this is the clearest sign of his progress from the ACL tear he suffered nearly 10 months ago.

When Pickens tore his ACL in late March, the initial belief was that he would be out all year with the possibility he could make a return for the bowl game, or College Football Playoff.

Pickens doesn’t need to play against Charleston Southern or Georgia Tech next week for the Dawgs to finish the regular season without a loss.

However, if he can ramp up his activity in practice the next two weeks, there is a chance that’s increasing by the day that he could play in the SEC Championship Game.

What a huge benefit that would be for Kirby Smart to add a player who likely would have been in contention for All-American status if he wasn’t injured. This would add another dimension to the offense and give Alabama another big-play, big-body weapon to worry about on the perimeter and in the red zone.

Pickens won’t be at 100 percent and it’s not fair to expect him to dominate the second he steps on the field, but even if he’s 70 percent, that’s a huge addition to the No. 1 team in the nation. Even if he’s a decoy, he gives the defense something else to think about. Similar to what Alabama did with Jaylen Waddle in last year’s National Championship Game vs. Ohio State. Waddle returned from a broken leg suffered against Tennessee in October and was clearly limited but his presence was felt.

Georgia football fans should be encouraged with the progress Pickens is making. If he doesn’t return for the SEC Championship Game, a return for the College Football Playoff semifinals appears to be an inevitability.

Having Pickens on the field as Georgia seeks its first national title since 1980 could prove to be a difference-maker.

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