NORMAN — Oklahoma’s misfortune at middle linebacker continued Friday with news that freshman Tom Wort will miss the season with a torn ACL. Wort’s injury, coupled with questions about the future eligibility of Mike Balogun, has defensive coordinator Brent Venables shuffling his rotation at middle linebacker for the second consecutive year. "It’s been an unfortunate set of circumstances,” Venables said Friday. "We’re just working through a process right now trying to figure out just how that will change our depth chart.” It’s a process Venables is familiar with. Midway through last season, a season-ending knee injury to starting middle linebacker Ryan Reynolds left the Sooners scrambling to fill his void. Then Reynolds’ eventual replacement, Austin Box, later went down with a knee sprain. This season has been more of the same for OU’s middle linebackers. Last week, the position took a hit again when it was revealed that Balogun’s eligibility was being investigated by the NCAA. At issue is whether Balogun played semi-pro football past his 21st birthday. If he did, his college career would be over. A court hearing is scheduled for Monday, which will determine if Balogun can continue practicing with the team. "We’ve got a hex on that position right now, I guess,” Reynolds said. But this season, the Sooners appear better-equipped to deal with the snakebites at the position compared with last year, when at one point they had to swing strong safety Nic Harris to starting middle linebacker for a week following Reynolds’ injury. One reason is the return of Reynolds to the starting lineup after his third major knee injury. "He’s done well. Real well,” Venables said of Reynolds. "He hasn’t had any limitations. He finds the ball every snap. He’s always in great positioning and he’s doing well.” Another reason is Box, who despite starting four games in the middle last season, has been working exclusively this fall as a backup on the weak side to Travis Lewis. With Wort’s injury, Box will be pulling double duty between the weak side and the middle while Venables retools his depth chart. "It’s not foreign territory for me,” said Box, who took his first snaps at middle linebacker during Thursday’s scrimmage after Wort went down. "I played there all of last year. "Losing a guy like Tom, a guy who’s been here since the spring, a guy who’s been working his tail off, it’s just horrible and unfortunate that it had to go down like that. It impacts all of us, it impacts the whole team, it changes a lot of what we’ve been doing.” Venables said he’s also now working true freshman Ronnell Lewis in the middle. Fellow freshman Jaydan Bird, who’s been practicing behind Travis Lewis, is expected to receive practice time in the middle, as well. "(Box) can switch to the middle very easily,” Venables said. "We’re also working some of the younger guys, Ronnell Lewis and Jaydan Bird. So that will be our group of guys.” As for Wort, his promising freshman season has ended before it ever began. The native of England who attended high school in New Braunfels, Texas, had been so impressive after enrolling in the spring that Venables was counting on working Wort frequently in the rotation. Now, Wort will redshirt and begin his rehabilitation following surgery, which he’s expected to undergo in early September. "He was playing really well,” Venables said. "He’s never played in a game, but he was ready to play in a game and we were very comfortable with him going into a game. "We’ll need to get somebody else ready in a hurry.” Text "Sooners" to 65360 today for your chance to win 2 tickets to OU vs. BYU in Dallas, Sept. 5.