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September 17, 2008

Granger requires surgery, could miss season

Oklahoma defensive tackle Demarcus Granger will require surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right foot suffered in OU's 55-14 victory over Washington on Saturday.

Granger will miss the rest of the 2008 season as a result of that surgery. But on Wednesday evening, Bob Stoops refuted SoonerScoop.com's earlier report that Granger will miss the rest of the season, saying doctors haven't decided on whether the surgery will take place.

"They're experimenting with whether to let it heal and take four weeks or so and for Demarcus to try and come back," explained Stoops.

But Stoops did confirm a surgical procedure will end Granger's season.

"If he gets it pinned and that's the option that they go with then obviously he would be (done for the year). If he doesn't then he would be back in who knows, maybe four, maybe five weeks or something like that," added Stoops. "We'll just see."

Granger, a former Rivals.com No. 1 defensive tackle prospect, came up lame after being triple-teamed by members of the Washington offensive line.

On the previous play, a Washington lineman was penalized for a false start. However, Granger was flagged for a personal foul for shoving a Huskies lineman to the ground after the whistle.

Controversy has surrounded the Granger injury in Norman, but Stoops didn't throw any blame toward the Huskies or their players on Tuesday.

"Three guys didn't go and say, 'Hey we're going to twist his ankle,'" said Stoops. "He got caught in the turf and you get double-teamed in there and that happens sometimes. There isn't anyone here whining or complaining about anything."

Granger later returned to the sideline on crutches, wearing a protective boot over his right leg.

The junior tackle from Dallas Kimball High School was a part of the regular rotation at defensive tackle, but had been replaced in the starting rotation by sophomore Adrian Taylor. Through three games Granger accumulated six tackles, one-and-half tackles for loss and one fumble recovery.

Granger was slowed during the preseason by back problems and conditioning issues, but was expected to become a bigger factor on the defensive line as the season progressed.
Whether Granger does or does not undergo season-ending surgery, the Sooners will have to account for his loss over the next month of the season.

That will include games against No. 7 Texas in Dallas and No. 19 Kansas in Norman.

His loss is a definite blow to the depth of Oklahoma's defensive tackle unit.

"I'd rather have him in there," answered Stoops when asked about his depth issues at the defensive tackle position. "Sometimes these things happen as you go through the year. It's unfortunate and I feel bad for Demarcus because he really had a great game and was starting to come on like he had been. It's just unfortunate. I feel bad for him more than anything."

The Sooners will continue with their rotation of Gerald McCoy, Cory Bennett and Adrian Taylor at the position.

The Sooners will also look to junior Cordero Moore to bolster their rotation at defensive tackle.

"He's coming along and he's gotten better and he definitely will get more snaps and figure into the plan," said Stoops.

Stoops also said there are no plans to pull talented freshmen Stacey McGee or Casey Walker out of redshirt.

"Some other guys are working in there but just aren't quite far enough along yet," he said. "We like them but they just need more work."

As for Granger, the decision on whether or not to undergo the surgical procedure will come quickly according to Stoops.

"If it's going to happen we're going to have to do it fairly soon."


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