NORMAN — It's been a long couple of weeks for Oklahoma, having to deal with – and repeatedly talk about – the impact of losing All-America receiver Ryan Broyles for the rest of the season.
Broyles tore the ACL in his left knee on Nov. 5 against Texas A&M. The senior from Norman had already set the NCAA career receptions record, and he was gunning for the NCAA career yardage mark.
“That's a huge gap to fill. You can't replace a guy like Ryan Broyles,” OU senior tight end Trent Ratterree said. “It's like trying to replace a guy like Sam Bradford or Jermaine Gresham. Missing a guy like Ryan leaves a big gap. Those are big shoes to fill.“What it comes down to is other people being willing to step up and collectively fill that gap. It's not going to be one person. It's going to be a ton of people by committee.”
Coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday that Broyles is about two weeks from surgery. He's rehabbing the knee, strengthening it in preparation for the procedure – something that's common with knee injuries.
Stoops said Broyles, one of the team's four captains, has been hanging out around the team as much as he can.
“He's been around. He's not gone,” Ratterree said. “His leadership role is still there. He's still around practice. It's just something that has to be done committee. It's unfortunate and it sucks, but it's part of life.”
JONES IS SURE TO MISS BROYLES, TIRES FROM HIS TRUCK
Landry Jones is sure to miss Broyles. In fact, how the junior quarterback plays without Broyles could illustrate the talent and legacy of Oklahoma's all-time leading passer in the final weeks of the season.
“He's thrown to more than just Ryan, and thrown it well,” Stoops said Tuesday. “I just feel he'll need to adjust to different people in that position. I've got confidence in his accuracy and decision-making that he'll continue to do well.”
Broyles isn't the only thing Jones is concerned about this week. The junior had the tires stolen from his pickup truck early Tuesday morning. What seemed like a practical joke at one point was actually a crime – maybe a mean-spirited prank by a rival team's fans.
Jones has not been available for interviews since the incident, though he could talk about it after Saturday's game.
STOOPS URGES BIG 12 VOTERS TO WAIT UNTIL AFTER BEDLAM
While Stoops did not want to single out any one Sooner for postseason awards, he did ask voters to wait until after the Dec. 3 game against Oklahoma State. He said many of the dozen or so voters, commissioned by the Associated Press, turned in their ballots before Bedlam.