Originally Published: Oct 22, 2009 5:4 PM CDT
Bob Stoops told me this morning that all options remain open with regard to Sam Bradford’s shoulder injury. The head coach at the University of Oklahoma confirmed my expectation that a news conference should not be expected in the near future. Moreover, a news conference will likely not take place at all.
I am told the Heisman winner will provide all details regarding his future in a press release that will come out of the sports information office at OU. Stoops told me Bradford may choose to discuss the status of his injured right shoulder with several people. Several reports have been premature in claiming to know all the answers regarding a scheduled surgery and a press conference being held today. I will be stunned if any new information from Bradford is officially released.
I fully expect Bradford to officially announce at some point that he won’t play this season and to possibly announce surgery is the route he’s chosen. But it makes no sense for him to announce he is leaving school and entering the NFL draft. There’s no rush.
What if he changes his mind and wants to return? What if the NFL decides he is not a high enough draft pick because of lingering questions to warrant in his mind coming out? What if the surgery and rehab don’t go as well as expected? How would the team react to hearing their superstar and leader he has chosen to leave? Numerous other questions could be looming in Bradford’s mind.
The fact is that he gains nothing from getting into anything other than the expectation that he is done for the season. Bradford and his family are extraordinarily wise. Emotions won’t override sound judgment.
They’ve heard the reports that he could have remained in the Texas game after the hit that put him on the sideline in the first quarter. But that it would have meant that he would have needed to have his shoulder shot up with legal pain medicine that is routinely used in college and the NFL.
Sources used Ben Roethlisberger as an example of a player with a similar injury not missing games because he chose to use pain killers. Eli Manning recovered very quickly from what we are told was a Grade 2 shoulder sprain—Bradford’s was a Grade 3. Countless others have have chosen this route and are still doing it weekly. It’s not illegal and it’s non-narcotic .
I am told the Bradford’s decided not to use pain killers before the Texas game because of the concern of it being numbed to the point that it could be re-injured and he wouldn’t know it. Sources close to the program told me if he was “a pro it might be different?.but a kid like Sam with so much money out there chose the safe route.” Understandable, but tough for fans and even coaches to hear.
The source told me the medicine could have been used weekly meaning he would not miss any games. But that’s history now and anyone who knows Bradford—especially the coaches and players—respect the decisions he makes. They just wished his decisions were what do when opponents send a corner blitz his way and not what to do if you need shots of pain killers to play.
Bottom line: Unless things change again, we can expect a statement being released saying Bradford’s season is over. I know the over-the-edge speculation and constant reporting on his status is getting old to him and his family. Thus, he may choose to also reveal that surgery is pending.
One thing we can say with certainty is that TV live-trucks can go chase fires and robberies. They won’t need to head to Norman for a Bradford presser. Because as Stoops told me, his star is still weighing all the high-dollar and perhaps high-risk options still on the table. The coach is more worried with how to beat Kansas than when the world will hear what Bradford chooses to tell them.
I will keep you posted????DB