Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Double whammy

It wasn't supposed to go like this for Oklahoma, especially the upperclassmen who returned for another shot at a national title. Sam Bradford and Jermaine Gresham passed up a top-10 spot in the NFL draft to spend another year in Norman, and you don't see that very often.

This is why:

On Tuesday, the Sooners got more bad news when Gresham -- like Bradford, an NFL prospect who returned for another season -- had arthroscopic surgery to determine the extent of the cartilage damage in his right knee. Stoops said surgeons determined that Gresham needed stitches to repair the cartilage, and that he'll need about five months to recover.

That will put him out for the rest of Oklahoma's season.

Wow. With Juaquin Iglesias and Manuel Johnson no longer around, Gresham was expected to be the go-to guy this year, and with good reason: He had 66 catches for 950 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. He's not your ordinary tight end.

When Gresham tweaked his knee in practice last week, it was treated as a minor hindrance, something that might keep him out a week or two. It would be nothing but a blip en route to another dominating season. But now ... well, between Bradford and Gresham, everything has changed for OU in the last 72 hours.

Bob Stoops has to be in damage-control mode at this point, because if Landry Jones struggles and Bradford never really develops a repertoire with his young receivers after returning from a month-long layoff, there are at least three possible losses on the schedule (Miami, Texas and Oklahoma State), and I never thought I'd be saying that a week ago.

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