Texas Football: 4 key injured Longhorns players heading into UH game

Ja'Tavion Sanders, Texas football
Ja'Tavion Sanders, Texas football /
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Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas football
Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas football /

Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE

Arguably, the most important player dealing with an injury for the Longhorns is standout junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders. The All-Big 12 tight end suffered an ankle injury in Texas’ 40-14 win over Kansas at home a few weeks ago.

Sanders played a handful of snaps in Red River on Oct. 7, but he was clearly limited with the ankle injury. He only played 38 offensive snaps against Oklahoma, the least of any contest this season besides the Kansas game, where he originally suffered the ankle injury.

The good news is that Sanders practiced for the Longhorns on Oct. 16. Sark mentioned Sanders among the group of injured Longhorns players who were limited in practice during the bye week but were participating on Monday.

Sark said in his Monday press conference on Oct. 16 that he will know more about the status of injured players such as Sanders later this week. Sark’s next press conference is on Oct. 19.

CJ Vogel of TFB Texas reported on Oct. 16 (donor content) that he “expects Sanders to give it a go” against Houston this weekend, with the asterisk that he will check with additional sources this week to confirm.

Regardless of whether Sanders is active against Houston, I’d expect a heavy dose of reps for junior tight end Gunnar Helm for the second straight game. With Sanders limited in the last two games due to the ankle injury, Helm took the most offensive snaps of any two-game stretch of his collegiate career. He was targeted four times against Oklahoma, resulting in a career-high four catches for 67 receiving yards and one touchdown catch.