Texas heads into Mizzou about as healthy as could be hoped for this part of the season. Lamarr Houston hurt his knee in the second half but came back to finish the game. Earl Thomas hit his head on the sidelines but he came back and made a big play or two. Vondrell McGee had only one carry but it was good to see him back on the field. Tre Newton did not play due to the concussion suffered against Colorado. Post game it was revealed that Colt McCoy was sick all week and injured his thumb early in the game. The guy in the #12 jersey played the whole game but there has been no official word on if that individual was indeed Colt McCoy.
Finally, we'd like to step up to the Injury Report pulpit for a moment to blast Bob Stoops. If you'll recall last week we asked what would happen if Sam Bradford took a really nasty hit. Unfortunately for Sam we never got the chance. Aaron Williams' sack of Bradford was a good hit, no doubt, but it certainly wasn't a bone crushing, Bomar-esque hit, or even as brutal as the hit that originally hurt Bradford's shoulder. Moreover, Bradford fell on his shoulder but was not driven down and into the ground by Williams like what happened against BYU. Bradford has taken (and will take) nastier hits than the one he took against Texas with a healthy shoulder and bounced right up. The most logical conclusion is that Bradford's shoulder was not fully healed, a conculsion fully supported by post-game tests. A fully healthy player simply does not usually get hurt that easily. Sam Bradford was not a healthy player and, considering OU's offensive line, it was only a matter of time before he was reinjured. If the shoulder couldn't take the strain of being fallen on, a hit most quarterbacks take during the course of a game, he shouldn't have played.
Since it's up to the head coach to decide when a player plays, we feel the onus for risking Bradford's health and future must be placed fully on the head of Bob Stoops. Stoops' comments during and after Saturday's game, however, create doubt that Stoops feels any responsibility. At halftime Stoops called the shoulder injury "similar to the last one", suggesting Stoops considered Bradford's injury to be the result of two unique shoulder injuries rather than a single injury from the BYU game aggrevated against Texas. Maybe we're reading too much into that comment.
Post-game Stoops had another opportunity to acknowledge Bradford may have come back too soon and his own responsibility for that decision. Stoops' response? "I saw him throw the prettiest 60-yard pass to finish our warmup as I've seen him throw," Stoops said. "We were going with information from doctors. He understood the entire situation. Sam is a bright, young guy. He knows what he wants. Unfortunately, it just hasn't worked out for him." Thanks for playing, Bob, but there's a slight difference between getting your arm strength back and being healthy. Of course Bradford wants to play, he's tough, he's young, his future earning is on display every time he puts on a uniform. Stoops' response suggests he didn't have any say in the situation rather than acknowledge that it was ultimately his call.
We felt Mack Brown was rightfully lambasted in 2006 after allowing Colt McCoy back onto the field against Texas A&M entirely too early after suffering a serious neck injury. Bob Stoops deserves similar scorn for his decision regarding Sam Bradford, a decision which we hope doesn't cost Bradford money and an NFL future. Perhaps we're reading too much into all of this, but a player went onto the field in Dallas without a fully healed shoulder, that much cannot be denied, and Big Game Bob struck out again. In the end, all that's left is the good chance that Bradford's season and possibly his OU career ended on Saturday.
What say you BONers?