AUSTIN (KXAN) — All of the Texas Longhorns quarterbacks practiced Monday ahead of Saturday’s Big 12 Conference opener in Lubbock.
Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian gave a few details about the quarterback situation in a Monday press conference, saying that it was “a great sign” that all were able to get work in.
“That, to me, is a really good sign,” Sarkisian said. “Last Monday, they didn’t all practice. Everybody was in there doing their team drills and different things.”
He said Quinn Ewers, the designated first-string quarterback at the beginning of the year, “is making progress” in his recovery from the collarbone injury he suffered in the Alabama game. Sarkisian said Maalik Murphy “had a good practice,” Monday after being “not healthy” the week prior, and Hudson Card — who played the entire game against UTSA on a bad ankle — also practiced.
“Hud’s ability to bounce back after playing Saturday and the ankle felt good enough to go today,” Sarkisian said. “There are a lot of positives there.”
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In the fourth week of the season, no one is 100%, Sarkisian said, and he went into how he and his staff manage whether a player feels pain or is injured. There’s a big difference there, he said.
“When you’re injured, you’re out,” he said. “If you have pain, we learn the value of perseverance and working through it. Nobody is 100% at this point of the season.”
While his players deal with bumps, bruises, dings or whatever other names they’re called, Sarkisian said he’s got to see them practice “throughout the week” in order for them to get in the game at the end of the week.
“It’s the mental component of the game where you’re accustomed to dealing with an ache or a twinge, or whatever is bothering you because that can serve as a distraction in-game if that’s the first time you go do it,” Sarkisian said.
He gave the example that if a player doesn’t practice all week and then tries to play in the game, the first time they feel pain is in the game, and then that’s in their mind. If the player manages the pain throughout the week in practice, then playing through the injury just becomes what feels normal.
“I’m a believer in practice, and I’m also a believer in taking care of our players in the right way,” Sarkisian said. “But there’s a difference between pain and injury.”