AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Longhorns standing in the win-loss column won’t change during the bye week, but the time off can certainly help. Texas is hoping to get one key player on offense healthy during the off week.
During his only availability with the media this week, Tom Herman was cautiously optimistic when talking about receiver Collin Johnson.
“Pie in the sky would be the West Virginia game [when he returns], but we’re not holding our breath, and that’s okay,” Herman said. “We wanna make sure that when we put him out there that he’s good to go for the rest of the season.”
The senior receiver has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. According to Herman, he received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection, which should help with his long-term health.
“Hopefully, when he does come back, this won’t be something he’s dealing with for the rest of the season,” Herman said.
Running back Jordan Whittington is still recovering from a sports hernia injury from high school that he re-aggravated against Louisiana Tech in the season opener.
“Best-case scenario [for his return] would probably be the week after West Virginia,” Herman said. “Worst-case scenario would be a week or two after that, but he has not had any setbacks. Everything has been going pretty good.”
His absence, combined with fellow backs Kirk Johnson and Daniel Young missing time with injury, made freshman Roschon Johnson all the more valuable after moving from quarterback to running back.
With the relatively new redshirt rules that allow an athlete to play up to four games while still preserving a year of eligibility, Johnson had a decision to make after the Oklahoma State game — keep playing and burn a season, or sit out to protect his long-term future.
“I said, ‘Hey, kid, this is your decision, this is your career, but we’re at that point where we’ve gotta make a decision,'” Herman said about a conversation with the true freshman. “He said, ‘Am I still gonna be able to help the team?’ I said ‘Absolutely.’ And he said, ‘Then we’ll worry about all that stuff after the season.’ So we’re planning on playing him for the rest of the season.”
Through four games, Johnson has run for 147 yards and one touchdown and added 76 yards and another touchdown on nine catches.