August 14, 2007

What happens now at quarterback?

The Texas Longhorns suffered their first major injury of pre-season camp this week when back-up quarterback Sherrod Harris strained a media collateral ligament after being rolled under in practice. With Harris unlikely to return to the team in time for the season-opener against Arkansas State, it leaves the team in a bit of a tight spot.

So, what do the Longhorns do from here? Do they pull the red-shirt off of true freshmen John Chiles or G.J. Kinne? Here's an breakdown of the situation.

What does the injury mean to Harris?

Contrary to what is being reported, there's not much hope at this point that Harris will be able to return to the team in time for the season-opener. The best-case scenario at this point might have Harris coming back in time for the TCU game, but the reality is that this injury could take anywhere from a month to six weeks for Harris to fully recover from.

The good news for Harris is that there seems to be little doubt that he had emerged as the obvious choice as second-team quarterback and the coaches appear to be committed to getting him on the field, although that line has been used in the past from the Texas staff. Barring a breakout performance from one of the younger quarterbacks, Harris can take solace in the fact that he's not likely going to lose his position because of the injury.

The real problem for Harris at this point is that he's missing valuable reps in practice that he definitely needs and if the injury lingers into the middle of September, he's likely going to lose all the game snaps that he would have received against the patsies on the schedule, which would help prepare for the Oklahoma's and Nebraska's of the world.

If Harris doesn't get plenty of snaps in that first month of the season, it's going to be tough for the staff to feel confident about using him when the meat of the schedule arrives and it could lead to a dicey situation should starter Colt McCoy have any health issues at all.

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