NORMAN — After Sam Bradford went down with a shoulder injury two quarters into the season, every national analyst posed the same question.
Had the Oklahoma quarterback’s NFL Draft stock fallen? Without question, it had. But now, through adversity, it has the chance to soar higher than ever before. And for now, OU’s season finally has a ray of light. Today against Baylor, Bradford returns to the Sooners’ starting lineup for the first time since suffering a third-degree separation in his throwing shoulder five weeks ago, which, to every OU fan from Broken Bow to Boise City, has felt like five years. While OU’s stock tumbled with a pair of one-point losses during non-conference play, Bradford’s draft stock did the same, as he watched, unable to do anything more than cheer on his teammates from the sidelines. "Not a good feeling,” he said. But with OU’s first piece of good news since January — when Bradford announced he was spurning the NFL for his junior year of college — both he and the Sooners could be on the rise. "I still think there’s a lot in front of this team,” he said Much of that will depend on whether Bradford can eventually return to Heisman form and resurrect a Sooner offense that scored only three touchdowns combined in losses to Brigham Young and Miami. Throughout his career, all Bradford has done is exceed expectations.