Day 6 - The Injury Bug

Day 6 of Texas Tech spring practice started with the discussion of a shocking and disturbing injury. Practice ended with some bright spots but the injury report had grown.

Day 6: The Injury Bug 3/31 Paul Bussell The Texas Tech football team took to the field today for their sixth practice of the spring. It was on this hot day that fans realized that the new coaching staff has a new word the previous regime did not, "INJURY."

On a day that started with rumors flying about Steven Sheffield possibly re-injuring his foot the injury bug officially hit the Texas Tech football team. Coach Tuberville got to practice much earlier than he normally does answering questions about "Sticks." Tuberville told the media that Sheffield broke the same bone he broke during last season's game against Nebraska.

"Sticks" had surgery on the broken foot today and the operation reportedly went very smoothly. The quarterback will be out until the start of June.

His coordinator coach Neil Brown spoke highly of where he was when he went down stating, "I feel bad for the kid; I hate it for us too; but I hate it for the kid too because he has gotten constantly better every practice we've had." Brown continued, "I thought he was playing really well, so he will definitely be a factor in the competition when he comes back."

When asked about the injury to "Sticks" and what that could to his psyche former walk on Texas Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie had this to say, "He's overcome a lot being a former walk on to being injured last season to being ready to play in the bowl game. I think he's tough mentally and he'll be able to make it back."

Receiver Derrick Mays was also not a participant in practice for the second day in a row. Mays had a light regimen and could be seen walking with a slight limp.

After getting the back of his leg rolled up on by an offensive lineman defensive tackle Chris Perry was injured and missed the rest of practice.

Pearlie Graves was also injured after hitting his head on the turf.

Also injured on the day was quarterback Taylor Potts. On one of the last throws of the day his throwing hand came down on a defensive lineman's helmet. Potts was lucky that the impact did nothing less than just split the webbing between his fingers.

Once the slice is sewn up he should be fine, according to coach Tuberville, Potts will be out until the end of next week. Tuberville stated, "We'll get a look at some of the younger guys and obviously get a chance to work on our running game a little bit more." That comment was met with a sizeable chuckle from the assembled media.

For those of you who are worried that with the injury to Sheffield, Potts must already be the starter for next season, Tuberville says "It's gonna go into two-a-days anyway, it wasn't gonna make a lot of difference . . . we'll just have them line up and last one standing at the end of spring will be the so-called starter in two-a-days."

One player who did not fit the theme of today's injury plagued day was offensive lineman Lonnie Edwards. Edwards was able to practice for the first time since the before the scrimmage on Saturday.

Brian Duncan, who was thought to originally be one of the teams inside linebackers, has been moved to outside backer. More specifically, Duncan looks to be the in the "Buck" position, this means he will be used much more as the rusher.

Defensive coordinator James Willis attributed the position change to Duncan's "natural pad level, natural body lean and he's quick with his hands"

The move for Duncan means a vacancy at the inside backer position. This void was filled with line backer Bront Bird. Willis says he likes Bird at both the inside and outside positions but is trying to find a place that suits everyone's strengths.

Former Dallas Carter standout Jarvis Phillips has been impressive this spring and has definitely caught the eye of Coach Willis. Willis said, "It took him some time to get going because he's a freshman, but every day he has been playing up to that level. So I'm very pleased with his performance and his improvement."

Former defensive end Daniel Howard was present for part of practice and said that he has been worked out by a few NFL teams and it looks like the Seattle Seahawks plan on drafting him with their 7th round pick.

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