Of all the walking wounded along the Texas sideline (thankfully there are relatively few), the two most critical injuries heading into game week belong to FB <B>Ivan Williams </B>and LDE <B>Mike Williams</B>. Coaches are severely limited as to what they can report about specific injuries and are generally hesitant to forecast a timeline for return. But inquiring minds want to know, so Inside Texas asked <B>Mack Brown </B>for a reasonable prognosis of when he expected the talented duo to return.
"I asked (Wednesday) and they (team doctors) told me they werent ready yet to give me a time table with either Ivan or Mike Williams
," Brown said. "I asked that question
I think it was this morning. During two-a-days, you sometimes forget what day it is. But they said they were making progress and theyre both doing well. Theyre definitely not going to play next week. Theyll not be involved in the first game. I think what well get is a little better feel during the open date week because thats two and one-half weeks form now. Well start the season over after the first game."
Both athletes are mending from knee injuries. Ivan, a senior, tore a tendon in his left knee during a pickup game of basketball in mid-February and hasnt suited up since. Fortunately, FB Will Matthews has emerged (he actually hits the hole a little quicker than Williams) and will remind many of Williams ability to bulldoze defenders at the end of a reception. Brown said he is also pleased with Brock Edwards versatility in playing both H-back and TE, although the senior is playing with a gimpy ankle.
"Brock said that hell play with pain during the season so he might as well practice with pain right now," Brown said.
Mike Williams saw action in 12 games on special teams as a true freshman in 2002, and took snaps at SLB as Lee Jacksons understudy before making the move from LB to DE last spring. Bryan Pickryl's return to the starting spot at LDE after shoulder surgery somewhat mitigates the loss of Williams, but quality depth at the position -- which Williams looked capable of providing -- remains a concern.