STILLWATER — Oklahoma State may explore other options in the passing game Saturday at Texas Tech, with three wide receivers on the injured list.
On Monday, Cowboys coach Mike Gundy ruled Michael Harrison out after the redshirt freshman required surgery to repair a fractured finger. At the mid-week point, Gundy considers Hubert Anyiam doubtful and Josh Cooper questionable to play in Lubbock.
Anyiam suffered a sprained ankle in OSU's win at Louisiana-Lafayette, where Cooper lasted just three plays before leaving with a head injury.
Gundy updated the status of all three Tuesday night on his weekly radio show. He clarified the injury to Harrison as a spiral fracture in three places, requiring a pin to stabilize the bones. Gundy said Harrison would likely be out 10 days, making a return for the Oct. 23 Nebraska possible.
Cooper practiced to some extent Tuesday, yet Gundy said he would be reevaluated today before a decision is made on his availability at Tech.
In what most envision as a likely shootout between teams with a history of such games and with two teams who combine to average nearly 90 points a contest, the injuries could put the Cowboys in a bind.
"We have other guys who are going to step up," said quarterback Brandon Weeden. "Colton Chelf, he's done a great job all year. He's going to play well. Bo Bowling can play a couple positions and he's played well.
"Obviously, we want to get those guys back as soon as possible, because they're big assets in this offense. But those other guys have an opportunity to make plays. And I feel comfortable throwing them the ball.
"It's my job to get them the ball and it's their job to make plays after the catch."
Cooper is OSU's second-leading receiver, while Harrison and Anyiam seemed to be on the verge of breakouts, combining for seven catches, 92 yards and two touchdowns against Lafayette.
The Cowboys will still feature Justin Blackmon, the nation's leading receiver. But if Cooper and/or Anyiam can't go in Lubbock, it'll be up to Bowling, Chelf, Tracy Moore and Isaiah Anderson to balance out the passing attack and make the Red Raiders reconsider extra attention on Blackmon.
OSU could also look at involving running backs Kendall Hunter and Joseph Randle as receivers. Randle, a true freshman, has proven more than capable in that role. His 11 receptions rank fourth on the team and his 146 receiving yards trail only Blackmon and Cooper.
"It's just another thing we can throw into our bag and use to our advantage," Weeden said. "With the guys who are dinged up, they can catch it out of the backfield, get more carries, whatever it may be.
"It's good to have both those guys back there."