The Texas Longhorns remain cautious with the progression of sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger from the Grade 1 AC sprain of his right shoulder that resulted in his departure from the team’s last game against the Baylor Bears on October 13, but head coach Tom Herman said on Monday during his weekly media availability that Ehlinger remains on schedule.
On Friday, Ehlinger threw a Nerf football for the first time, according to a report, and on Sunday he threw about 10 times with the Nerf football and 15 times with a real football, Herman said. The plan is for him to increase his number of reps with the real football to 25 or 30 on Monday.
“He was at practice yesterday, out there doing everything in the run game, all the handoffs and run game checks and reads and all of that, just being very cautious with how we accelerate his throwing,” Herman said. “There’s a protocol if you will for overhead throwers with AC sprains that we want to make sure that we adhere to as aggressively as possible without making sure between have any major setbacks that could be lingering.”
So the plan is for Ehlinger to throw 25 times in full pads on Tuesday, then increase his throwing reps to 50 later in the week, a number much closer to the 75 to 80 throws that Ehlinger makes in a normal practice.
The coaching staff will have a better idea of whether the sophomore can play on Saturday in Stillwater against Oklahoma State by Thursday. Barring any setbacks or any mechanical issues that arise as a result of the injury, if Ehlinger is healthy and looks like himself, then he’ll start.
However, the staff also needs Ehlinger to precisely convey how his shoulder feels and if it’s still bothering him.
“We talked awhile yesterday about him being very honest with us in terms of his pain because there’s an element to his game that’s different than a lot of quarterbacks and if we’re out there playing cautious and tentative and trying to protect things, I think that plays into the overall effectiveness of him and his game for us,” Herman said. “So we know we have got great one in Shane [Buechele] ready to go and got a ton of confidence in him as well.”