Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Austin Box's Back Sounds Like Bad News

Austin Box

I guess the Oklahoma Sooners' good fortune on the injury front couldn't last.

Online chatter surfaced last night that Austin Box had suffered a back injury that could even be career-ending. This morning, John Hoover of the Tulsa World confirmed that the junior middle linebacker did indeed hurt his back, although the best he could come up with in terms of a status report is "day to day." (Then again, aren't we all?)

Knowing how tight-lipped OU coach Bob Stoops is about injuries, day to day doesn't offer much comfort. While Box's status still appears to be up in the air, for the Sooners, that kind of diagnosis is just as likely to mean "just waiting for the doctors to give us the really bad news" as "he may practice tomorrow."

And back injuries? Well, those often turn out to be among the worst of the lingering variety.

If there's one position where the Sooners have depth to spare, it's linebacker. Box wasn't even assured of a starting spot on the defense, even though he may have had an inside track on redshirt freshman Tom Wort.

Still, when healthy, the Enid native has proven himself to be a great fit in the middle of coordinator Brent Venables' defense. OU's defensive scheme seems to demand an ever-increasing amount of versatility from the linebackers, and Box's coverage skills fit the bill nicely.

If Box does miss extended time, look for Venables to go with more nickel-based packages utilizing "Roybacks" Tony Jefferson and Joseph Ibiloye.