NORMAN — Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford doesn’t hurt when he throws a football. And doctors say the odds of a hit reinjuring his shoulder are the same as before he injured it. But the reason the Heisman Trophy winner may not play against Baylor this weekend — or possibly again this season if he ends up requiring surgery — is the soreness and fatigue he encounters in his shoulder after throwing for an extended period. "The medical deal is, does he feel strong enough and is his stamina well enough to make the throws and make the plays through the course of a game?” said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. "Last week, the first day he threw, I was like, ‘Wow, that looked like Sam.’ Watching him throw last week, there were very few throws he couldn’t make. "But as the week went on, the fatigue got to his arm and he didn’t feel comfortable with his arm strength.” In his first public appearance in more than a month, Bradford took the podium after Wilson for a 9-minute, impromptu press conference Tuesday and explained what life has been like since suffering a third-degree shoulder separation in OU’s opener. "The past three or four weeks have been probably the toughest three or four weeks I’ve had in a long time,” he said. "Just the amount of preparation, the time spent preparing for the season, not being able to be out there with my teammates. ... that’s really tough.” Bradford has practiced for the last week-and-a-half, but still has not made enough progress to feel comfortable stepping back into the lineup. The same quarterback who attempted 483 throws last season without a hitch looked sharp last Monday; but by Wednesday, had lost velocity and zip on his throws. And while Bradford hopes to return to the lineup Saturday, there seems to be just as much uncertainty about when he might be able to return as there was two weeks ago. "That’s one of the most frustrating things about it, too, that there’s not been a definite timeline,” Bradford said. "From the beginning, it’s always been a matter of when it’s healthy and how it reacts. That’s extremely frustrating. If someone were to tell me, ‘Hey, it’s going to be six weeks, but after six weeks, you’re going to be as good as new and you can play again,’ sometimes I think that’s better than sitting there saying, ‘Well, you could be back in three weeks, you could be back in four weeks, it’s just a matter of. ...’ So, kind of going through that process has been really frustrating.” A month ago, Bradford all but ruled out surgery as an option. But Tuesday, he admitted a season-ending procedure remains on the table, if his shoulder doesn’t strengthen in the coming weeks. "That is still a possibility,” said Bradford, who pointed out that surgery, if needed, could also take place after the season. "I mean, all the doctors I’ve talked to, it’s all a matter of how my arm reacts. Until I get out there, until I practice, until I make all the throws, until I play in a game, I’m not going to know. And no one’s going to know. "Obviously, it is a concern. ... but I’m focused on trying to get back out there and help my team this year.” Text "Sooners” to 65360 for your chance to win autographed OU memorabilia. OU news text updates from NewsOK sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts.
Baylor at OU→When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday →Where: Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium →TV: ABC (Cox 8) →Radio: KRXO-FM 107.7