Eason’s week-to-week, which means UGA could have a problem

Two quarterbacks. One too many? (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

Georgia coach Kirby Smart just announced that quarterback Jacob Eason’s knee injury — it’s a sprain, not a tear — will not require surgery. The Bulldogs expect him to return this season and are listing him as week-to-week, with no specific return date. He will not play against Notre Dame.

We can’t know what will happen over these next few weeks. But what, we ask, if Jake Fromm — good in relief against Appalachian State — finds success as a starter?

We sometimes hear it said that a starter shouldn’t lose his job because of injury. Were that noble sentiment entirely true, Tom Brady might still be a backup. He was pressed into service in 2001 when Drew Bledsoe was injured. Come the playoffs, Bledsoe was again healthy. Bill Belichick stuck with Brady as his starter, even in the Super Bowl against the Rams after Bledsoe saved the Patriots when his erstwhile understudy was hurt in the AFC championship versus Pittsburgh.

This isn’t to suggest that Eason is Bledsoe or Fromm is Brady, or vice versa. This is merely to note that sometimes you’re better off playing one quarterback, even if he’s the wrong quarterback, than trying to find enough snaps for both.

We reference Ohio State. Braxton Miller, the 2012 and 2013 Big Ten offensive player of the year, was hurt in the 2014 preseason. Backup J.T. Barrett led the Buckeyes to a division title – he was named the Big Ten’s top quarterback that year – but was himself injured against Michigan. Cardale Jones stepped into the breach and took Ohio State to conference and national championships.

Come 2015, all three – Miller, Barrett and Jones – remained on an overstocked OSU roster. Miller was moved to wide receiver. Jones began the season as the No. 1 quarterback; Barrett finished the year as the starter. The results were half what was expected from a team that entered the season as the first unanimous No. 1 in the annals of the Associated Press poll. The Buckeyes never quite found their stride, and a loss to Michigan State kept them from winning anything of consequence. In 2016, with only Barrett still a collegian, they returned to the College Football Playoff.

(Note: Barrett, in what seems his 17th year of eligibility, is still Ohio State’s quarterback.)

The point being: Quarterbacks aren’t pitchers. You don’t say, “Kershaw, you get us through three quarters and Jansen will take it from there.” Quarterbacks aren’t on pitch counts. Quarterbacks have a rhythm, and the entire offense picks up on that. Did not Georgia seem to move faster with Fromm than Eason on Saturday? (Answer: Yes.) Was that an accident? (Answers: Maybe, but maybe not.)

You never want your No. 1 quarterback to get hurt, the No. 1 quarterback being the most important player on any roster. Neither do you want there being a question as to who’s the No. 1 quarterback. The last team to win a national championship while splitting snaps was Florida in 2006, when the Gators’ No. 2/change-of-pace-guy was a freshman named Tebow.

(Championship quarterbacks since: Flynn, LSU; Tebow, Florida; McElroy, Alabama; Newton, Auburn; McCarron, Alabama; Winston, Florida State; Jones, Ohio State; Coker, Alabama, and Watson, Clemson.)

If Fromm struggles — and he might — the point’s moot. Eason’s the starter whenever he returns. But what if Georgia looks better with Fromm than it has with Eason? What then?

Reader Comments 0

42 comments
USA&UK;,JOBS
USA&UK;,JOBS

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96JB
96JB

Let's hope he stays heathy (Fromm) because after him, we're toast

danders2
danders2

"The No. 1 quarterback being the most important player on any roster." With all due respect, I'll take Herschel Walker over John Lastinger any day...

FlatTire
FlatTire

@OH:IO. maybe; but Buckeyes got nothing on Southern Football

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

They're still undefeated against your overrated losers.

Eric_C
Eric_C

During the off-season and now after the first game, I have been hearing things like the OL is the biggest weakness or it is "average." Unless Fran Tarkenton is back there scrambling around again, the question about who is playing QB becomes much less significant against a division one power team.  I think that issue gets glossed over way too much when considering the outlook.

Eric_C
Eric_C

@RollDawg the OL is a weakness and that is a bigger concern than the QB situation, get it? 

OH:IO
OH:IO

Even Bradly is shoulda woulda coulda.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@RollDawg

Typical of the jerk oh:io, who competes regularly with TOJacket for the crown of Most Ignorant AJC Poster.

_Alyssa_
_Alyssa_

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brushback69
brushback69

What a wishy washy article. 

Quit thinking too much and projecting what ifs at this juncture.

Fromm has the ball for now and we'll see how his progression goes with command of the game and the huddle.  We might find the better leader..

RollDawg
RollDawg

Great point. These writers feel compelled to fill space with so much crap. Let's just let the team play and see.......

FlatTire
FlatTire

Unless our O-line and play calling happen to do a 180 all this hype will be deflated like a whoopee cushion come Saturday late 

RollDawg
RollDawg

Perhaps, but do you believe our offensive game plan was in full display against App St?

FlatTire
FlatTire

@RollDawg did you see anything different in the play calling Saturday from last year?

OH:IO
OH:IO

When/if THE Savior returns he will doing more ducking and less chucking. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

Do you just copy/past the same mindless posts day after day?

Get a life, lying hypocrite.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Um, Bradley, JT is in his 4th year of eligibility. "17" is fake news.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

He said what "seems" like his 17th year, buttface. Learn how to read.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@DawgNole @OH:IO


It was a stupid reference, dog is A hole. 


"buttface"? 1st grade insult. You're slipping. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @OH:IO Butt face is the proper spelling...and your buddy JK Tooleshed is worried about my posts. Learn how to spell.

JKToole
JKToole

@TOJacket @DawgNole @OH:IO Worried about your QB: nine attempts lifetime, one for an interception.

My tool shed? You're the one with several alter egos, Sybil. #SAD

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

So it was "stupid" because you deem it so? Get over yourself.

"A hole" is a kindergarten insult. You slipped long ago.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole @OH:IO

Buttface is spelled correctly. You're out of your league--way out. 

Never heard of Tooleshed--and the correct spelling is tool shed.

Still too spineless to affirm your earlier bold predictions of a GT victory tonight? Still dodging the question?

What an embarrassment to your fellow GT fans you are.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@DawgNole @OH:IO


It is so deemed. 


No, there is  not only subtlety but also double entendre with "dog is A  hole",  dog is A hole.


"buttface" is buttface.

Covfefe22
Covfefe22

@OH:IO Awww, the poor little Trumpkin browneye is triggered.  Need a safe space?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

No, you are buttface. More importantly you're a lying hypocrite who shamefully posts imbecilic rants about a football program and conference against whom your team has failed miserably.

We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again
We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

Georgia has a good enough running game and defense to win with Fromm. But aside from the awkwardness of a potential QB controversy when Eason returns, the biggest concern right now is that we're one injury away from having Brice Ramsey under center. If that comes to pass, we are well and truly screwed.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again I am amazed at how all you dreamers think this is going to be a walk in the park for a kid that just came from High school...and starting in South Bend, I hope he has learned all the silent signal calling because he is going to need it.

RollDawg
RollDawg

Noise there won't be an issue as 35,000 people will be dressed in red.