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Two Texas players cleared for Kansas game

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Collin Johnson and Juwan Mitchell will both play against the Jayhawks.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns will have two banged up starters available in a bounce-back game against the Kansas Jayhawks, as senior wide receiver Collin Johnson and sophomore linebacker Juwan Mitchell are both cleared for Saturday’s game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, head coach Tom Herman said after practice on Thursday.

Johnson returned from a hamstring injury that cost him three games to play against Oklahoma and record six catches for 82 yards. However, he suffered a head injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit and didn’t return to the game. Subsequent evaluations revealed that he did not suffer a concussion.

Mitchell made three solo tackles and recorded a pass break up, but also suffered a significant elbow strain in the Cotton Bowl that will force him to wear a bulky brace on it this week.

The original hope was to have freshman running back Jordan Whittington cleared by this point following sports hernia surgery in early September, but his rehabilitation process is ongoing. Earlier in the week, he had a follow-up appointment in Philadelphia with the doctor who performed his surgery. Whittington’s MRI looked good, but he received an injection after suffering from swelling and pain in that area.

“He’s progressing,” Herman said. “A little bit slower than we had hoped because of that swelling. When he’s ready, he’s going to play.”

Herman added that since the staff doesn’t believe that Whittington is a five-year player, so there hasn’t been any talk of redshirting him this season. Not yet, at least — if the injury continues to linger, the staff could make that decision late in the season.