TE Jermaine Gresham out for season
Zach Butler, The Oklahoma Daily
The No. 13 Sooners welcome more bad news to the team with the announcement that senior tight end Jermaine Gresham would miss the entire 2009 season.
The news comes 24 hours after head coach Bob Stoops announced the loss of Heisman winner junior quarterback Sam Bradford for two to four weeks.
“Jermaine’s arthroscopic surgery went well for him in the long run,” Stoops said. “[Doctors] had to repair and stitch together some of the cartilage and carve parts around it.”
Stoops said the surgery requires five months of rehabilitation, which means there would have been on hope for him to return for the end of OU’s Big 12 schedule.
“For his sake the rest of the knee looks good, and this is something that heals really well,” Stoops said. “It’s just unfortunate that he comes back and he’s not able to continue to participate. So we really feel for him.”
Gresham suffered the injury during practice Sept. 1, and was announced later in the week he would be unable to play in the Sooners’ 14-13 loss to No. 9 Brigham Young University.
In Gresham’s absence, the tight end corpse, which consisted of sophomores Trent Ratterree and James Hanna, caught one pass for 12 yards.
The catch by Ratterree, and came in the team’s final drive.
Ratterree dropped a pass later in the drive that would have given the Sooners enough yards to be within sophomore kicker Jimmy Steven’s field goal range.
The rest of the team was notified about Gresham’s status this afternoon, and junior defensive end Gerald McCoy said everyone has been showing his support.
“I told him, ‘I’m going to carry you on my shoulders, when I go out on that field you are going to come with me,’” McCoy said. “’Just because you’re not out on that field, you’re still out there with us.’ I’m going to take him out there with me, and I have to stay motivated to keep him motivated.”
Over the past three seasons Gresham has become a staple in the Sooners’ offense. He has caught 111 passes for 1,629 yards and 26 touchdowns.
“It hurts to see that as hard as he’s worked, as much as he’s done for this program,” McCoy said. “Him being out for his senior season just hurts as a leader, as a team.”
Stoops said senior center Brody Eldridge received more reps in practice at tight end than he did last week, which leaves open the possibility of starting freshman Ben Habern at center Saturday against Idaho State.
“We’ve got to move forward and that changes the complexion of what we do a little bit, but we’ll work through that,” Stoops said. “We of course are disappointed for Jermaine.”