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Injury updates on Texas RB CJ Baxter, RG Cole Hutson, and Jack end Kris Ross

Steve Sarkisian provided the latests on injuries to three Longhorns players during his Monday press conference.

NCAA Football: Texas at Alabama Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK

AUSTIN, Texas — MRIs conducted on Texas Longhorns sophomore right guard Cole Hutson and redshirt freshman Jack end Kris Ross on Sunday confirmed the hopes shared by head coach Steve Sarkisian after Saturday’s win over the Wyoming Cowboys at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium — neither player suffered season-ending injuries.

“Both of those guys will be out probably three to four weeks,” said Sarkisian. “I think we’ll have them both back within about a month. The good part is that they’re not season-ending injuries. The tough part is they’re significant enough for them to miss a couple ballgames here, so ideally, I’d love to have him back for OU. If not, then we’ll have that bye week and then they can get ready coming out of the bye.”

Hutson spent several minutes down on the field after suffering a hyperextended knee at the end of a running play before the Texas medical staff helped him off under his own power. At halftime, however, Hutson was officially ruled out for the remainder of the game.

A 6’5, 318-pounder from Frisco, Hutson started all 13 games at right guard for the Longhorns in 2022 while playing through a shoulder injury that required surgery in the offseason. Hutson suffered a more minor injury prior to the season opener that kept him out against Rice before splitting reps with sophomore right guard DJ Campbell in the win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The same rotation — with Campbell receiving his third consecutive start — continued until Hutson’s injury.

Ross suffered an elbow injury in the second half and was carted off the field. The Galena Park North Shore product had two tackles against ULM last season in his lone appearance as a true freshman and is currently listed as the backup Jack end to junior Barryn Sorrell. In the season opener against Rice, Ross recorded one tackle and one quarterback hurry.

Freshman running back CJ Baxter returned to practice on Monday, according to Sarkisian, after sitting out last week and missing the win over Wyoming due to the foot injury Baxter suffered in the fourth quarter against Alabama.

“I just didn’t feel comfortable where he was at and how he was feeling before that ballgame. So he was back today,” said Sarkisian. “Again, we’re just we got to keep monitoring him throughout the week and see how he responds from day to day.”

Baxter had 11 carries for 31 yards against Alabama before his injury, the second straight week the nation’s consensus No. 1 running back in the 2023 recruiting class had to leave the game — against Rice in the season opener, Baxter fell awkwardly on the ball at the end of a 32-yard run in the second quarter and departed with a rib issue. For the season, Baxter has 16 carries for 69 yards and four carries for 21 yards.

With Baxter banged up, junior running back Jonathon Brook leads Texas with 47 carries for 273 yards and a touchdown, including a career-high 21 carries for a career-high 164 yards in the win over the Cowboys.

Sarkisian did not provide an injury update on junior linebacker Mo Blackwell, who was a game-time decision last week before being ruled out before kickoff. Blackwell has missed all three games this season with a knee injury suffered before the season opener.