James Cook will not play for the Georgia football team in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
The Georgia Bulldogs will be without one of their best running backs in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, as James Cook will be heading back to his native Florida to be with his family after the death of his namesake father.
News of Cook’s father’s passing came on Wednesday morning. Cook is the younger brother of Minnesota Vikings superstar running back Dalvin Cook, who will miss his team’s final game of the season vs. the Detroit Lions to be back with his family in South Florida. James Cook will also miss his team’s final game vs. the No. 8 Cincinnati Bearcats in the Peach Bowl.
“He found out, I guess, yesterday morning and immediately got a flight home. His brother’s going there, too. Just really unfortunate,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart to FOX 5’s Cody Chaffins on Wednesday.
“James is such a charismatic, loving teammate. He loves all his teammates, is really close to his family and a really tough situation to be dealing with the loss of his father at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. We support him 100%, all his teammates got his back and we want him to be with his family and do the best he can to deal with this at this time.”
BREAKING: Kirby Smart confirms that James Cook has gone home to be with his family after his father passed. He will miss the @CFAPeachBowl on Friday "We support him 100% and all his teammates have his back" #UGA pic.twitter.com/LCsNwUHAje
— Cody Chaffins (@Cody_Fox5) December 30, 2020
Georgia will be even more shorthanded vs. Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl
Due to several opt-outs, the Dawgs will be down several key starters in the Peach Bowl. Some of those players include guard Ben Cleveland, linebacker Monty Rice and cornerback Eric Stokes. While Cook was expected to play and get ample carries in the running back rotation, look for guys like Zamir White, Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton to pick up the slack in his absence.
Though Georgia has two losses on the year, the Dawgs have not lost a game since JT Daniels became their starting quarterback. While Cincinnati won the Group of 5’s New Year’s Six bowl bid, the Bearcats had not played a game in a month prior to defeating the Tulsa Golden Hurricane for the AAC Championship. This should be one of the better bowl games of the New Year’s Six.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cook Family at this time.