Following a foot fracture suffered during preseason camp, Texas Longhorns senior tight end Andrew Beck is healthy and practicing with the team, head coach Tom Herman said on Monday.
However, the staff is holding him out of games in order to preserve his redshirt, which would allow Beck to return for the 2018 season. Herman said that it will be up to Beck whether he decides to take advantage of the opportunity for a fifth season in Austin, but right now the coaches expect to have him back.
The decision to hold Beck out highlights the long-term planning by the staff — with junior Garrett Gray and freshman Cade Brewer both out with injuries, the team could certainly use Beck right now. Herman has, after all, consistently called Beck one of his three best blockers on the offense.
But the short-term gain of playing Beck at the end of this season isn’t nearly as significant as the possibility of having the Florida native available for the entire 2018 season.
With that being said, it’s also important to note that there are no guarantees that Beck’s surgically-repaired foot will hold up for an entire season, as he’s already fractured it multiple times now.
So the ‘Horns may well need players like Brewer, fellow freshman Reese Leitao, and junior Chris Warren III to continue emerging at that position, even if Beck does return as anticipated.