By now I'm sure we're all fully aware that QB Casey Pachall has what is being described as "shoulder soreness" and will undergo an MRI at some point today. The team is currently in the middle of the scrimmage, but an interview with GP is expected to immediately follow, so if you're like me you have Stefan Stevenson's Twitter Feed on rapid fire alert. Of course SpitBlood will be among the first to update you when any news does filter out.
While most of us - and I'm guilty as well - likely hit the panic button and have visions of a 6-6 season dancing in our heads (otherwise known as a "Baylor Dream Season"), I think we all need to pull back on the reins a bit and take this into perspective. No, you never like to see "MRI" and "Starting QB" in the same sentence; tossing shoulder soreness into the mix only amplifies matters. At this point all we know is that Pachall sat out practice yesterday, but he WAS suited up, which you have to take as a somewhat decent sign. For all we know it could simply be a matter of his shoulder being worn out due to the increased work load of being a starter for the first time since he was in high school. I'm no athlete, but a lazy afternoon throwing a frisbee would likely send me running to Dr. James Andrews after about 15 minutes, so it's entirely possible he just needs to cut it back a little bit between now and Baylor and things will be fine. I think we all have to assume he hasn't been taking any contact in practice, so the chances that his shoulder was separated after being driven into the turf by Braylon Broughton are probably slim. Besides, we have no idea if it is even his throwing shoulder we're talking about. BRIGHT SIDE!!
But, and I genuinely do not believe this to be the case, let's say Pachall does have to sit out the first few games on the season. What then? A lot of folks have expressed concern re: Matt Brown as our backup, including our very own head coach, Gary Patterson. Even more concerning is the fact that a true freshman who has no spring experience is running neck and neck, although that could just be because Boykin is genuinely a gamer and (ignores spring game performance) not a reflection on Brown's lack of ability. But let's do say one of them has to start in Waco. Well, we have a pretty clear cut comparison here, because the last time we opened the season in Waco a backup had to lead us to victory after the starter was hurt, that being Marcus Jackson. It certainly wasn't pretty, but it got the job done. And last time we started a RS freshman QB? Also against Baylor, when Andy Dalton gave them the business to the tune of 27-0. In other words, we've done it before. Besides that, our running game has always been the engine that drives the train, so it's not like starting an inexperienced QB would take a potential 10-2 or 11-1 season to 4-8. I know we aren't supposed to mention race on the site, but I think those parallels are kind of appropriate here when finding optimism in similarity.
I think we all just need to take a deep breath and wait until we get official news before freaking out. My theory? Probably a case of too much ink putting stress on the shoulder. Let that be a lesson to you kids looking at adding a fresh sleeve to your epidermal repertoire.
**UPDATE** lyle mentioned it in the comments, but here's the official take, via the Star-Telegram's College Confidental blog, paraphrased: Patterson doesn't expect anything revelatory to come out of Casey's MRI. Casey says he was hit in practice and that is why his shoulder is sore, although the coaching staff does not recall seeing him hit, so this is certainly curious. Regardless, he has been held out as a precautionary measure and it doesn't sound like he will miss any significant time.
You may all unclench your buttholes.