Share “When will Sam Bradford be ready?”

By Jake Trotter Modified: September 23, 2009 at 8:29 am •  Published: September 23, 2009
NORMAN — Coach Bob Stoops doesn’t want to talk about it.

He doesn’t want his players to, either.

But the biggest question surrounding the Oklahoma football program remains: Will injured Heisman winner Sam Bradford be ready in time to play at ninth-ranked Miami next weekend?

Or will redshirt freshman Landry Jones continue to be OU’s starting quarterback?

"As Sam goes forward, they’ll give him more and more to do as the days come, and we’ll see how he handles it,” said Stoops, whose Sooners have a bye this week. "It’s too early to speculate, and I’m not going to.”

Monday, Bradford threw passes with the team for the first time since suffering a third-degree separation in his throwing shoulder during the Sept. 5 opener against Brigham Young.

Bradford was a limited participant in practice again Tuesday.

Team doctors originally projected Bradford would be out 2-4 weeks. When the Sooners take the field against Miami, Bradford’s injury will be exactly four weeks old.

"Don’t read anything into it, but he was doing more than he’s done,” offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said after Monday’s practice.

"I didn’t see him just all the way extend, but I saw him throwing some little 5- or 10-yard passes,” receiver Ryan Broyles said Monday. "That’s promising."

But whether promising enough for Bradford to be ready by Miami remains to be determined.

Two of the bigger issues with Bradford’s shoulder will be how he feels after throwing in practice this week and how much throwing he can take before it becomes sore.

"The bottom line is it will be day-to-day as he improves,” Stoops said. "We will just see how he handles it.”

The delicate responsibility will be on the coaches and trainers to get Bradford ready as soon as possible, without overdoing it. And to make sure that whatever Bradford is able to do, he is not risking any long-term damage.

"As you do more you see the next day where it is, or after two days, where it is,” Wilson said. "I think any time you come off deals like this when you try to push things, is it positive or is there a little regression?

"It will be interesting as we go through the week.”

Wilson said he would defer to Bradford, Stoops and quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel as to how much practice time Bradford would need before stepping back on the field.