Texas Football: 3 key injured Longhorns players heading into OU game

Ja'Tavion Sanders, Texas football
Ja'Tavion Sanders, Texas football /
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Ryan Watts, Texas football
Ryan Watts, Texas football /

Texas football was one of the healthier teams in the Big 12 at the outset of conference play a couple of weeks ago. Only a handful of Texas players were dealing with injuries heading into Big 12 on Sep. 23 against the Baylor Bears on the road.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns made it through the Baylor game relatively unscathed regarding injuries, too. But the Week 5 win on Sep. 30 at home over the No. 24 Kansas Jayhawks saw two key starters banged up for the Longhorns.

Injury updates for three key Texas football players heading into Red River vs. OU

Texas lost one key starter on both sides of the ball in the 40-14 win over Kansas over the weekend. The Longhorns also had a couple of younger players in the trenches dealing with injuries coming out of the Week 3 win at home over the Wyoming Cowboys.

As obvious as it may sound, Texas needs as many key players healthy as possible heading into the Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas against the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners on Oct. 7.

Here are updates for three key injured Longhorns players heading into Red River week against Oklahoma.

Ryan Watts, CB

One of the two significant injuries the Longhorns suffered in the win over Kansas last weekend was to redshirt junior starting boundary cornerback Ryan Watts. In his Monday press conference, Sark said Watts is “day-to-day” after suffering a lower-body injury in the Kansas game on Sep. 30.

Watts played just 15 defensive snaps against Kansas last weekend before suffering a lower-body injury in the first half. I didn’t see Watts take any second-half defensive snaps before he was ruled out, as reported by ABC on the national broadcast of the game.

The second-year Texas starting boundary corner Watts is obviously a very important part of this secondary. Despite missing the entire second half of the Kansas game last weekend, he’s still taken a team-high (among the cornerbacks) 190 defensive snaps this season.

Cornerbacks coach Terry Joseph and Pete Kwiatkowski can rotate sophomore corner Terrance Brooks and true freshman Malik Muhammad at the boundary spot if Watts does miss Red River this weekend. Texas also has enough depth to rotate senior nickel Jahdae Barron at corner if need be. There is plenty of depth and versatility for Texas to tap into to fill the void at boundary corner.

For now, though, Watts appears to be questionable for Red River.