What’s next for Texas football after the Quinn Ewers injury?

Hudson Card, Texas Football
Hudson Card, Texas Football /

The worst news coming out of the weekend for head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Texas football program had to do with the loss of redshirt freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers to a clavicle sprain. That shoulder injury that Ewers suffered for Texas in the loss to the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide at home on Sep. 10 wound up being something that looks to be pretty serious.

A report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel on Twitter on the morning of Sep. 11 indicates that Ewers is “expected to be out 4-6 weeks with an SP sprain, which is a significant injury where the sternum meets the clavicle”. It does look like Ewers will be further evaluated in the next couple of days.

But the fact of the matter is that Ewers is likely going to be out until well into the Big 12 slate. More than likely, Ewers will miss some big games for Texas such as the opener against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on the road and the Red River Rivalry game against the Oklahoma Sooners.

Thamel also noted in his Twitter thread on Sep. 11 that essentially the earliest possible return date for Ewers would be in Red River on Oct. 8 against the Sooners.

Moreover, the injury to Ewers against Alabama meant that Sark and his staff had to turn to junior quarterback Hudson Card. And Card definitely provided a boost for this Texas offense in a time of need following the Ewers injury.

Card led a few scoring drives for the Longhorns, and he fought through a tough injury of his own. It was apparent pretty quickly in this game that Card was fighting through an ankle injury that could hamper him the rest of the way.

Now the question must be asked as to whether Sark and the Longhorns will be able to have a healthy Card taking the reigns for this offense through the rest of the month and even a few weeks into October.

What’s next for the Texas football QB room after the injury to Quinn Ewers?

From what we can tell at this point, Card is the starting quarterback for the next few games at least for the Longhorns. There wasn’t much in the way of talking about the status of his ankle injury moving forward after this game.

Card even mentioned post-game that there was “no way he was coming out of the ball game”.

Thus, if Card is going to be the starting quarterback in the meantime, that means he’s at least QB1 in the following games:

  • Sep. 17 vs. UTSA
  • Sep. 24 vs. Texas Tech
  • Oct. 1 vs. West Virginia

Card would then have the onus on his shoulders to lead this offense through the beginning of the Big 12 slate, which will set the tone for the rest of the key games in conference play. You also still have to figure that Card will need to be ready for any games that Texas plays in early-to-mid October, depending on when Ewers returns to lead this offense.

However, I still have the question as to what direction Sark will now go for the backup quarterback behind Card. Texas has some key games coming up against opponents that could put up some big-time challenges to the Longhorns.

UTSA isn’t a team that should be slept on as one of the better Group of Five squads in college football. Texas Tech also pulled off a gritty win against a top 25 team in the Houston Cougars on Sep. 10. That won’t be an easy game by any means for the Longhorns.

And while the West Virginia Mountaineers didn’t have their best showing this weekend in a loss to the Kansas Jayhawks, this is still a team under head coach Neal Brown that has a potent offense and some key returning pieces on defense. West Virginia also put up a good fight in Week 1 against a top 25-ranked Pitt Panthers squad.

Given the potentially difficult opposition that the Longhorns face in the next few weeks combined with some of the depth concerns that are now front and center for Sark upon the injuries to Ewers and Card, the next quarterback up in this room has suddenly become much more important.

The next quarterback up in this room will end up being a decision between true freshman Maalik Murphy and redshirt freshman Charles Wright.

Murphy would be the quarterback that would give the Longhorns the higher ceiling, while Wright has more experience under his belt. Wright at least has nearly a dozen snaps in live-game action under his belt in two different games in the last couple of seasons. Murphy still has yet to take any live-game reps in his collegiate career.

Wright also has the advantage of a couple of full offseasons now of practice and spring game reps.

Given the fact that Wright was the third-string quarterback on the depth chart throughout much of the last couple of seasons, I would imagine that he would be the next man up at the current moment for the Longhorns. Wright still has a good level of familiarity with the offense under Sark and has decent knowledge of how things operate in the Big 12.

While I’m not sure the level of relevancy that this will carry, Wright is a former Iowa State Cyclones commit and was recruited by head coach Matt Campbell. That at least gives him some level of inside knowledge of how another Big 12 offense and coaching staff operates along with that of the Longhorns.

And unless Murphy can really show a high level of maturation and development out of nowhere in the next couple of weeks, Wright would definitely be the more reliable option to be the next quarterback up for Sark and QB coach AJ Milwee.

The 6-foot-1 and 202-pound Wright should be the next go-to option for the Longhorns.

In the meantime, the hope is that the toughness and grit that Card showed in this loss to Alabama on Sep. 10 inspires more resiliency from this team moving forward. If Card is able to recover from this ankle injury pretty fast, that would be the best-case scenario at this point.

Next. 4 takeaways from Texas' last second loss to Alabama. dark

Texas now carries a record of 1-1 (0-0 Big 12) following the tough one-point loss to the Crimson Tide at home on Sep. 10. Card and the Longhorns will next take on head coach Jeff Traylor and UTSA at home at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Sep. 17, with kickoff time set for 7 p.m. CT.