OU notebook: Center Ben Habern returns to practice

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: October 31, 2011

Ben Habern, who has missed the past five games after suffering a broken forearm against Missouri, participated in all of Monday's practice and is expected to play this week. Habern took snaps at center. Gabe Ikard, who was solid filling in at center, probably will return to left guard.

“(Habern) has a forearm cast and snapped it (ball),” said coach Bob Stoops. “At center or guard, we'll see how the week goes.”

The Sooners developed some depth while Habern was sidelined. Adam Shead started at left guard and graded out well. Jarvis Jones, a starter at offensive tackle last season, has played some series at guard after a tedious return from a major knee injury.

Offensive tackle Daryl Williams has been playing a few series behind starters Donald Stephenson and Lane Johnson. Williams, a redshirt freshman, started the season opener at right tackle but was hampered several weeks by a sprained ankle.

FLEMING EXPECTED TO PLAY

Cornerback Jamell Fleming, who suffered a knee injury at Kansas, practiced without issue on Monday and is expected to return for Saturday's game. Fleming underwent arthroscopic surgery just two weeks ago,

“I expect him to be fine all week and play,” Stoops said. “He was close Saturday. He was cleared to go but didn't quite have the confidence (in the knee). I know how that can be.”

It will be a big boost for the secondary, allowing Aaron Colvin to move back to safety. Sam Proctor showed some promise at safety when Colvin was at cornerback.

OFFENSE ISN'T A&M'S PROBLEM

Texas A&M is a balanced offense that will provide a good test for an OU defense that struggled two weeks ago against Texas Tech. The Aggies have a talented running back combo (Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael) and a quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) that can produce big plays.



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