Shoulder injuries are tricky business in college football, especially if it's a quarterback. As we saw last week with Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, just when you think a guy is healthy, he reaggravates the injury and his season is over. For any team, that can be a killer. But at UT, it would be especially so.
That's why the Rockets are playing it safe with Aaron Opelt's bruised right shoulder. Opelt did not throw at Tuesday's practice but was slated to test his arm in game situations yesterday and today. How well he performs will decide if he starts and how much he plays against Temple this weekend. But as of now, UT coach Tim Beckman said junior Alex Pettee is slated to be the starter for the Rockets on Saturday night at the Glass Bowl.
That doesn't mean things won't change between now and then. Beckman yesterday was much more hopeful of Opelt playing than he was on Wednesday last week. Beckman added that freshman quarterback Austin Dantin's right ankle is progressing to the point where there's a chance he could be utilized against Temple as well.
Pettee did a fine job leading the Rockets on their game-winning drive against Northern Illinois last week. But at the end of the day, UT needs Opelt. Obviously you don't want to risk doing any further damage to his shoulder and end up losing him for the remainder of the season. But if Opelt is anywhere near healthy, he needs to be out there.