AUSTIN, Texas — After watching his friend and rival Sam Bradford go down with a shoulder injury, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy could have been excused for having second thoughts about not going to the NFL last spring.
Did the hit that landed the Oklahoma quarterback on the injured list make him worry it could happen to him before he gets a chance to collect an NFL paycheck?
“Not at all,” said McCoy, last season’s runner-up to Bradford for the Heisman Trophy. “You’ve got just as much of a chance getting hurt riding in a car as you do playing the game of football.”
The odds get worse for a quarterback playing behind an inexperienced offensive line like Bradford was. McCoy is protected by a much more experienced group that has three seniors among four returning starters from last season.
Oklahoma hopes Bradford will be able to return in a few weeks, maybe in time to play Texas on Oct. 17 in Dallas. The No. 2 Longhorns (1-0) play at Wyoming (1-0) this Saturday.
Bradford sprained the AC joint in his throwing (right) shoulder when a BYU defender hit him and he fell on his right side.
“That’s one of the worst ways you can get hit, when you’re falling on your shoulder and you can’t do anything about it” McCoy said. “I certainly hope the best for him. He’s a good friend.”
McCoy, who has set more than 40 school records, returned for his senior season to chase a chance to win a national championship. Texas was ranked No. 1 for a month last season and finished No. 3 after a Fiesta Bowl win over Ohio State.
He took out an insurance policy that would pay between $3 million and $5 million in case of career-ending injury. Texas linebacker and defensive end Sergio Kindle, who also weighed entering the NFL draft, took out a similar policy.
“As players, you don’t worry about injuries like that,” McCoy said. “You go out and do what you need to do.”
McCoy has been injured during his career.
In a 2006 game at Kansas State, a hard hit to his helmet pinched a nerve in his neck and forced him out of a game Texas lost. He wasn’t at full strength when he returned two weeks later against Texas A&M and was hurt again. He has not missed a game since.
“The [2006 injury] sent a message to him that he needed to get stronger,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “He’s much stronger now.”