STILLWATER â€“ Mystery surrounded Justin Blackmon's status from the moment he was spotted in a walking cast on Monday.
Would he play? Would he still be a star, as he has in every game he's played this season?
The questions were the same, inside the program and out.
â€œWe didn't totally know we were going to have him all week,â€ said Cowboys offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen.
Blackmon did play, but endured an uneven night, the result of a severely sprained ankle suffered in the Kansas game that swelled and turned worse the next day.
At times he was clearly hobbled; other times he flashed the brilliance that put him at atop the nation's receiving charts.
The stats showed a typical Blackmon performance: eight catches, 105 yards and a touchdown.
But the eyes showed different. OSU coach Mike Gundy put Blackmon at â€œ60 to 70 percent.â€
â€œJustin didn't practice all week. Didn't take one snap all week,â€ Gundy said. â€œWe kept him in a cast for five days and put him in a boot the last day. I would suspect he'll be pretty sore tomorrow.
â€œHe has a pretty high tolerance for pain. He wanted to play. He wanted to play with the pain and we really couldn't keep him out of there.