The 2014 season for the Texas Longhorns hangs in great extent upon the health of junior quarterback David Ash, who suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot during spring practice that caused him to miss the Orange-White game.
According to a sourced report from 247Sports, Ash has been throwing in summer 7-on-7 drills as he continues his recovery:
"He's not all the way back, but he's out there competing," the source said. "He's throwing a little bit and looking good. He looks like he's going to be fine."
For most foot fractures, that might not be much of a surprise, but since there is a shortage of blood flow in the part of the foot where Ash suffered the fracture, there's a 25% chance that the injury can either take much longer than normal fractures to heal or become a chronic condition.
At this point, it sounds like Ash is progressing at an acceptable rate, reducing the odds that he his return will be delayed.
Of course, there are still the concussion concerns after the head injury suffered during the BYU game resulted in him missing the Ole Miss game and then the rest of the season past the first half of the Kansas State game when he experienced a recurrence of his symptoms.
Ash completed 53-of-87 passes for 760 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions in his abbreviated 2013 season. With a 60.9% completion rate and an average of 8.7 yards per attempt, despite the struggles against the Cougars that hurt the entire offense, his numbers projected out over an entire season would have been an impressive year.
Even producing at the the same level he did in 2012 would represent a major improvement of the play of Case McCoy from last season.
And with no experienced quarterbacks behind Ash, the drop off between the Belton product and sophomore Tyrone Swoopes, true freshman Jerrod Heard, or senior converted wide receiver Miles Onyegbule could easily be significant and catastrophic for the Texas campaign.
It's Ash or bust this season and at least one of the potential bust factors looks like it is receding in concern.