Bradford's Road to Recovery

NORMAN, Okla. -- After practice on Monday Bob Stoops and Sam Bradford both addressed the Heisman winner's shoulder injury, the most talked about topic in college football. Who did he turn to for guidance? How long will he be sidelined?

Sooner fans looking for some solace concerning OU junior quarterback Sam Bradford's AC sprain in his right shoulder can look at a similar case of a Super Bowl-winning NFL quarterback who made a quick return to the game after suffering a similar type injury.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning battled back from a second degree AC sprain the year he guided his team to a Super Bowl victory over the undefeated New England Patriots.

And he battled back quickly.

"In particular, I guess, Eli Manning is a guy that came back I think in 10 days and played and went on to win a Super Bowl that year," said OU head coach Bob Stoops. "So, there's a number of guys that have recovered from this and gone on and played well, so we'll see."

Eli Manning suffered a similar injury.
Yesterday, Bradford talked to Manning about that quick return.

"You know, I just talked to a couple different guys who have had similar injuries," Bradford said. "You know, [as] Coach [Stoops] said, I think, I talked to Eli Manning yesterday. He had a similar injury. He just kind of told me some of the things he did to get back on the field."

Perhaps the one difference for the two is the severity of the injury.

While Manning's was a second degree injury, Bradford 's is slightly worse.

"From everything I've heard from the doctors, you know, I have a third degree separated shoulder right now," Bradford said.

But while Bradford 's injury might be a little worse, there's already been some progress in his recovery.

"No doubt [I feel better than Saturday]," Bradford said. I mean it does feel a lot better today. [It's] not nearly as painful as it was Saturday. Hopefully, it can keep progressing like this."

The really good piece of news is that the estimated time needed to recover might not be as long as anticipated.

Stoops informed the media Monday night that Bradford might be out for less than a month, an encouraging sign considering it's the worst type of AC sprain at a third degree.

"Right now, you know, we're looking at, most people with these AC sprains have been [out] 2 to 4 weeks in recovery," Stoops said. "And everyone's different in how they heal, how the soreness, you know, how they handle it and how quickly it dissipates and where he can move and be comfortable again in throwing the ball, so [we] don't know, anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks is what we're anticipating."

That means the Sooners would be Bradford-less in home games against Idaho State and Tulsa , and then there's an off week, followed by a contest at Miami .

With any luck, OU could have its Heisman quarterback for that road game against the Hurricanes the first weekend in October.

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