UPDATE: I feel like I’m stuck in a time warp. On Monday rumors were that Baylor’s freshman phenom quarterback was questionable for Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State. However those rumors were quickly shot down by coach Art Briles. Fast forward four days, and it’s a bit of rinse and repeat. After backing off his Monday’s statements on the status of Stidham, Briles has once again closed the door on any notion of the young quarterback not playing.
— David Smoak (@DavidSmoak) November 19, 2015
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Rumors swirled on Monday that Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham was likely out for Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State. The Bears shot down those rumors later the same day, but now head coach Art Briles might not be so sure.
“Honestly, [Stidham is] not as far along as I’d like for him to be,” Briles told reporters Wednesday. “We’ll see in the next day or two.”
The 5-star freshman quarterback suffered an injury to his back on Baylor’s first drive of the game in Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma. Despite the injury though, he was able to play through the pain for the remainder of the game.
The loss of Stidham would be a major blow to Baylor as they travel to Stillwater this weekend. The Bear’s lost season starter Seth Russell for the season at the end of October, and losing Stidham would leave them few options.
The most likely candidate to fill in would be sophomore quarterback turned wide receiver, Chris Johnson. Johnson transitioned from throwing the passes to catching them this fall as Stidham became the heir apparent behind Russell. The last time Johnson saw the field as a quarterback was the first three games of 2014 when he picked up some garbage minutes. He’s only attempted four passes while donning Baylor’s green and gold, but he does have a 100% completion rate. So there’s that. Johnson does bring an added dynamic with his speed and escapability though, which Baylor may look to rely on more than his arm.
Oklahoma State has struggled at times against mobile quarterbacks, especially against those who also play receiver. The Cowboys barely survived against Kansas State as Kody Cook gashed the Cowboys on the ground for 87 yard and a touchdown. The Bears would need the same kind of performance from Johnson as they try to hang onto their season goal of winning the Big 12.