An impressive spring for Texas Longhorns sophomore running back Kyle Porter is over due to what head coach Tom Herman called a “slight ankle sprain” during his Tuesday evening media availability.
Porter is one of three Longhorns Herman declared out for Saturday’s Orange-White game, joining senior tight end Andrew Beck (re-injured foot) and junior cornerback Davante Davis (non-surgical shoulder separation injury).
Given how cautious the coaching staff was about bringing Beck along slowly this spring, the setback is at least mildly concerning since there’s so little depth at the position. Right now, there’s no reason to think that the team’s best tight end will continue to suffer from the injury through the season, but foot injuries can certainly linger.
The loss of Porter is much more of a short-term disappointment — he drew rave reviews from the coaching staff this spring after taking over the starting role due to other injuries at the position.
In fact, Texas has struggled to fill the two-deep with scholarship players after losing junior Chris Warren III to a hamstring injury. Junior Kirk Johnson continues to deal with knee issues that date back at least to last season (if not to his injury in late 2015), while sophomore Tristian Houston and early enrollee Toneil Carter both missed practice time.
With Porter and Warren III out, the coaches will at least get extensive looks at Houston and Carter on Saturday, which could provide some value due to the game-like environment.
However, losing Porter and Beck significantly reduces the expectations for the offense, which thereby reduces the appeal of the scrimmage itself.
It’s still a football-like substance, it will just reveal even less about Herman’s team and its prospects for the actual 2017 season than if the team was anywhere close to full strength.