NORMAN — Senior center Gabe Ikard dressed out, but wasn't a full participant in practice in the few sessions after he broke the ring finger on his snapping hand.
With 37 career starts on the Oklahoma offensive line, is he a rare player who can afford to miss practice?
“No. Nobody can,” said first-year OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh. “If there's gonna be a guy, obviously he's played a bunch, but again, everybody needs practice.
“I don't care if you've played 10 years in the NFL. You need practice. You need reps.”
Still, the Sooners are in decent shape at Ikard's position.
When Ikard had to miss the Baylor game with a concussion, then-freshman Ty Darlington started in Ikard's place and performed well.
Darlington also saw significant action in Oklahoma's Cotton Bowl loss to Texas A&M, when guard Adam Shead was fighting through injuries and Ikard moved out to replace him.
“It really is a great experience as a freshman,” Darlington said after the Cotton Bowl. “When I was coming in, I wasn't sure if I'd get to play or if I'd redshirt. So I got to get in, play a little bit.
“Played well at times, didn't play so well at others. I guess I have to remember I'm only a freshman.”