As cold and harsh as it sounds, OU could turn the page if it knew Bradford would not return.
By sitting out this year, Bradford would be free to rehab at his own pace with far less risk of re-injury.
It would give Bradford a few months to clear his head and thoroughly examine his future plans.
A redshirt junior, Bradford could enter the 2010 NFL draft, or return as a senior if he felt he had something to prove because of the injury.
Bordering on the absurd, Bradford eventually would be eligible to petition for a sixth season at OU, a la Jason White. (If Bradford plays again later this season, he would have no sixth-year option.)
After this fall semester, Bradford reportedly has just one more class to earn his degree.
There is one "B” in the name Bradford, and at last check there was one "B” on the kid’s report card.
If Bradford sticks around the classroom long enough, he might someday be shipped off to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.
If a player’s final days of football are at the collegiate level, comeback decisions such as these come much more easily.
If a player is on the verge of the NFL, these decisions are much more difficult.
Roughly 10 percent of OU’s current roster will go on to play in the NFL. Bradford is at the top of that 10 percent, but only with a healthy right shoulder.
If Bradford has recovered enough to play in 2-4 weeks, by all means, come on back
If Bradford’s recovery falls behind schedule, I say sit this one out.
Good luck finding an OU player, coach or fan who thinks Bradford should sit out this season.
But it doesn’t matter what they think. It matters what Bradford thinks.
As a pseudo-psychologist, I have just one request of Bradford: If during the rehab process your shoulder doesn’t feel strong enough, or the pain is too great, or something doesn’t feel quite right, don’t be afraid to re-think your decision to return.
And take longer than .01 seconds to do so.
Most important, follow your doctor’s orders much better than I.
475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.