Aaron Franklin would be a likely candidate to slide over, but the senior is primarily a special-teams guy. Freshman Tay Evans is an inside linebacker but doesn’t appear to be close to ready for that leap quite yet.
Evans’ ejection put the Sooners in a tough spot were anything to happen to Gastelum.
But Gastelum played every snap the rest of the way and played respectably after some early jitters that included dropping an interception try after letting a receiver slip behind him in coverage on his second play in the ballgame.
Because the penalty occurred in the first half, Evans won’t have to miss any of next week’s game vs. Tulsa.
Shannon was dressed out for the game, but there was never any indication that he was ever likely to see the field.
His attorney, Aletia Timmons, said Friday that Shannon would “stand on the sideline in silent protest” of his treatment.
Shannon was suspended after he was found guilty of violating the university’s Title IX sexual misconduct policy after a female OU student alleged Shannon sexually assaulted her at Shannon’s off-campus apartment in January.
Criminal charges were never filed in the case.
Shannon remained on the sidelines for the game, often standing but sometimes sitting on the bench with his teammates, though he didn’t appear to have much interaction with either Evans or Gastelum during the game.
As he went to the locker room after the game, Gastelum talked at least briefly with Evans.
“As far as I know he’s doing good,” Gastelum said. “It’s a bad deal to have to sit and watch the game from inside but he told me when I can in he said, ‘Good job, just keep it up.’”