/stepping back from the ledge (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images).
[Update]: In what at least felt like an unusual move, Texas SID responded to an offseason injury report and had some good news for Longhorn fans contemplating the worst (um, like me):
#UT spokesman confirms David Ash did strain hamstring. Says it is not severe and he is day-to-day.— Ricky Doyle (@RickyDoyle) July 28, 2012
Yes, I will have my weekend back, thank you very much, and put to rest worst-case scenarios. Thankfully. --Wescott
It takes some luck for a team to contend for a title or even a conference championship in a quality league like the Big 12. Avoiding injuries represents most of the positive luck a team can have. On Friday, Texas already received some bad news just days before reporting for fall camp when prospective starter David Ash injured his hamstring in a workout, according to multiple sources and as broken by Orangebloods.
While it's too early to speculate about the severity of the injury, the concern is that hamstrings are notoriously slow to heal, putting Ash's ability to participate in the early part of fall camp into serious question. Again, speculation, but a hamstring injury is not the same as a rolled ankle or dinged knee.
Case McCoy will start creating default separation. If Ash can't go in the week or two prior to Wyoming, McCoy be will the starter, putting Texas in danger of enduring another season of controversy if Colt's little bro struggles upon an Ash return.spent the Big 12 Media Days talking about the need for separation with both quarterbacks "even" coming out of the spring. If Ash can't go for the first week or two of practice,
Running through the worst-case scenarios based on worst-case scenarios may seem a little bit excessive right now. Hell, it's a Friday night, and I just wanted to enjoy a rare weekend not on the grind. I don't want to have these thoughts right now, but in the space of actual knowledge, that's just what's residing in my head.
I don't want another year of quarterback controversy. Especially if it happens through default separation because of an injury to the contender with the actual significant physical upside.
Despite the official position taken by Mack Brown, my eyes, my interpretation of what the coaches say they value (ball security), and virtually every report emerging from summer workouts, the best thing for the Texas program entering the 2012 season would be for Ash to seize control of the starting job against some spirited competition from a stronger Case McCoy, but then never look back and translate the advances he showed from December onwards into steadier play coupled with an ability to take advantage of big-play opportunities.
Maybe that's not conventional wisdom in every corner, but I will believe that with conviction until I have reasons otherwise.
Otherwise, the only potential is for the limited upside of McCoy to manage games despite his inability to consistently threaten defenses in the running game or in the passing game outside the hashmarks, while any continuation of his burgeoning interceptions struggles would immediately place the impetus on the coaching staff to give a healthy Ash a chance whenever he returns. Or at least bring down the hue and cry of the fanbase upon them, which can certainly reach a hearty volume.
And those situations aren't fun. Been there, did that. Hey, 2011, you sucked.
Maybe I'm all wrong and Ash will be fine and he'll be ready to go through all or most of fall practice. Until then, in this vacuum of ignorance, I worry and envision the worst.
PB, 9:05 pm CT: There is no official word on the reported injury to David Ash's hamstring, so we really don't know whether we're talking about his muscles tightening up, or an actual strain. While I hope the next bit of news produces a huge collective sigh of relief from the Longhorn fan base, as Wescott mentioned, hamstring injuries can really linger, which means the severity of Ash's injury (if any) is pretty much the most important story of fall camp. The hope right now is to hear tomorrow that the hamstring pain that reportedly caused Ash to leave the field was a symptom of muscle tightness, and not the result of a strain.
A friend who works in orthopedics emailed me shortly after the news broke:
"Better hope he just tightened up, because if we're talking about an actual strain -- a tear in the muscle -- it's 50/50 whether he participates in fall camp, and if he does, the concern would be from coming back too quickly. Unfortunately, rest is usually the best and only cure, and risk of reaggravation is elevated the sooner you return to high-impact movement."
It really is too soon for any speculation beyond that, and the only reason for doing so now is to emphasize what's at stake: David Ash missing all or most of fall camp is literally the last thing that this team needs, and if there's a strain that keeps him sidelined for a number of weeks, the only lipstick to put on that pig is to be thankful it didn't happen near the end of camp.
Fingers crossed for good news.