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Texas WR John Burt suffering from a hand injury

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This issue helps explain the recent drop in effectiveness and, well, the drops from Burt.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Texas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Since catching a long touchdown pass against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the season opener, Texas Longhorns sophomore wide receiver John Burt has mostly been a non-factor for the ‘Horns over the last three games.

On Tuesday evening, offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert revealed that a hand injury suffered by Burt before the UTEP game was a possible contributor to his lack of production.

Against the Fighting Irish, Burt caught six passes for 111 yards and the 72-yard touchdown, while dropping another long potential touchdown catch. Since then, he’s only caught eight passes for 81 yards in three games, with several dropped passes.

Last weekend, Burt played sparingly and wasn’t a factor with two catches for 16 yards.

Heading into the season, the expectations were high for the Florida product after a successful track season that he said improved his speed. With Gilbert’s offense relying heavily on vertical routes, he looked poised for a breakout season after serving as the primary big-play threat for Jay Norvell in 2015.

The bye week clearly didn’t help much, as evidenced by Burt’s limited playing time and effectiveness, leaving lingering questions about whether he’ll be healthy and able to make an impact this weekend against the Oklahoma Sooners.

Without a healthy and effective Burt, the Texas offense doesn’t have its second-fastest wide receiver, leaving freshman quarterback Shane Buechele without his preferred deep target.

Perhaps this will be the week that Burt returns to the form expected from him at the start of the season, as Gilbert indicated that the team’s leading returning receiver is improving.

If he isn’t better, beating the Sooners will be much more difficult.