(Editor’s Note: Despite our best efforts, we were unable to independently confirm the reports. We openly admit that we have reservations to its accuracy, mostly due to the way it was originally reported. However, it has received so much attention that our effort is to provide some clarity around the report and how it unfolded.)
The last 12 hours have been a roller coaster for Oklahoma State fans. While most of you were soundly asleep, Cowboys fans were popping antacids at a pace only outmatched by how often they clicked refresh in their Twitter feeds.
Late last night, Pardon My Take, a Barstool Sports podcast, tweeted out that the Pokes number one receiver and Biletnikoff hopeful, James Washington, has suffered a hernia and will miss the first four games of the season.
And just like that, at 10:36 PM central, Pardon My Take dropped a bomb and sent Oklahoma State media into a frenzy trying to confirm the news. But hours later, no confirmations came. We reached out to our sources close to the program. They seemed as blindsided as everyone else, and we were hearing the same from other media members who were checking with their sources.
How did Pardon My Take get this scoop before a single OSU beat writer had even heard a whisper? How is it that nobody can confirm it? Their verified check mark seemed to be the only thing giving the report any credibility.
Well about that…Pardon My Take revealed in a direct message made public by Twitter handle @BP_State (warning, tweet is NSFW) that unbelievably, they ran with information they were not very confident in, and they later deleted their original tweet.
However, even though Pardon My Take didn’t act with the best journalistic standards, it appears that there may be something to it. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire. The Franchise’s Lauren Rew is reporting that James Washington does indeed have a hernia, but it is an old injury and there is no surgery planned at this time. Washington will attempt to play through it.
Re @PardonMyTake, source tells me James Washington had ab pain; ultrasound discovered old hernia. No surgery now, will try to play thru it.
— Lauren Rew (@Lauren_Rew) August 11, 2017
If true, it would appear that Washington simply aggravated an old hernia injury.
It is worth noting, that if he is unable to play through it, he will most likely need to have surgery and could miss a few weeks of the season.
Washington is considered by many to be the best receiver in the country heading into 2017. Named to the Biletnikoff watch list, Washington has put together back-to-back 1,000 yard performances in his last two seasons.
For most teams, losing Washington would be a critical blow. Oklahoma State is not most teams. They happen to have the deepest receiving corps in the country. Maybe the deepest receiving corps ever. Washington isn’t even the Cowboys only receiver named to the Biletnikoff watch list. Slot receiver Jalen McCleskey was also named, while Marcell Ateman, who was named to the watch list last season before being injured, is now healthy and returns to the lineup. And then there is Tyron Johnson. The highly recruited, standout LSU transfer has been very impressive in practice and will get major minutes if Washington does miss time. But that’s not all, there is also Chris Lacy, Tylan Wallace, Tyrell Alexander, LC Greenwood and Dillon Stoner. Those five could legitimately be a heavy part of the rotation anywhere else in the country.
If Washington does end up missing a few games, Oklahoma State is in about the best situation you could ever ask for in losing a star player. That is, if the hernia reports are even true to begin with.