Orakpo Expected to Return
Brian Orakpo injured his knee on Saturday
Brian Orakpo injured his knee on Saturday
Lead Writer
Posted Sep 3, 2007


DE Brian Orakpo's knee injury suffered in the second quarter of Saturday's home-opener against Arkansas State does not appear to be season-ending, according to a Texas Mens' Athletic Department official.

Brian Orakpo was scheduled to have an MRI on his right knee Monday, according to a close source to the situation.

Television replays revealed that Orakpo was the victim of an apparent chop-block. He left the game in the second quarter and returned later on crutches. For now, no news is good news for the explosive junior who logged his third career start against Arkansas State.

"If it's a season-ending injury, you (media) would get (information) immediately," Longhorn coach Mack Brown said Monday. "If it's not, you'll get it in when (trainers) know more."

In other words, if Orakpo's injury was season-threatening, that information would have been released prior to Brown's Monday morning press conference.

The official trainers' report (updating injuries) is released Thursday evenings during the regular season. Even so, Orakpo was listed as the starting (quick) DE when the depth chart was released Monday. But pre-game depth charts released early in the weeks should be considered fluid documents, Brown cautioned, as coaches typically make personnel decisions following its release.

"We're discussing today (Monday afternoon) how guys played," Brown said. "We discuss it with players (Sunday) night. If we make changes, it's usually not Monday. We're going back and evaluating the performance against everybody. A lot of guys played really well (against Arkansas State), but some need to pick it up. There would be potential (depth chart) changes, and they were told that (Sunday) night -- point blank."

RS-freshman Eddie Jones filled-in admirably for Orakpo and was already expected to be a fixture in the Two-Deep chart.

"Eddie has an opportunity to play a little more," Co-Defensive Coordinator Duane Akina said, a statement that may be as telling of Orakpo's status this week as it was of Jones' generally solid play Saturday.

Jones made his presence known with his first-half, end zone INT after he rapidly covered 20 yards on a zone blitz. He finished the game with four tackles (three solo), one TFL, two QB pressures and was credited an assist on a sack. Coaches said the Kilgore product probably developed well enough to have contributed as a true freshman but the Horns now stand to reap the benefits of Jones' extra year in the system.

"Eddie did a nice job for considering it was a hot seat right there because of how the game was going," Akina said, emphasizing the pressure that ASU's Zone Read puts on a DE. "It's not the first time we'd seen the Zone Read. We've been watching it for a lot of years here. It's a good football play because it puts an athlete, one-on-one, with another."


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