The Longhorns lost another quarterback for the season as junior Garrett Gilbert underwent right shoulder surgery on Tuesday.
Texas entered fall camp with four quarterbacks battling for the starting job. Only sophomore Case McCoy and freshman David Ash remain with the team after Gilbert’s season-ending injury and Connor Wood’s decision to transfer to Colorado in August.
An MRI revealed an issue with Gilbert’s throwing shoulder last week and team doctors recommended surgery, according to UT.
Texas head football athletic trainer Kenny Boyd said the injury “appeared to occur” in the season opener against Rice. Gilbert had symptoms but was not limited in practice leading up to the BYU game, Boyd said.
Gilbert was pulled from the BYU game in the second quarter after throwing his second interception of the night. He completed two of eight pass attempts for eight yards before giving way to McCoy and Ash.
Gilbert was the third quarterback for Saturday’s win over UCLA and did not play. It was the first time in 14 games that the Lake Travis graduate did not start.
Gilbert said in a statement that his shoulder was getting progressively worse.
“That’s why I decided to have the surgery now,” he said. “I can get it taken care of, start my rehab and be healthy and ready to go for next year. I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to play the rest of this year, but I’ll be out there helping [co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin] and the quarterbacks as much as I can.”
Gilbert will be able to request a medical hardship waiver at the end of his eligibility. NCAA rules allow athletes to apply for the waiver if they play fewer than 20 percent of their team’s scheduled games in the year they are hurt. Gilbert played in 16 percent of Texas’ 2011 schedule of 12 games.
If Gilbert is granted a medical hardship, he will have two years of eligibility remaining.
“We’re disappointed for Garrett that he won’t be able to help us on the field the rest of this season,” said head coach Mack Brown. “He’s a tough kid that fought through some pain to continue to play. We also know that Garrett is a very smart kid with a great understanding of our offense, so we’re excited that he’ll still be around to help coach Harsin and our young quarterbacks. He will continue to be a great leader for us helping those guys throughout the season. With his work ethic and determination, we know he’ll get his shoulder back to full strength as soon as possible.”
Texas, though, still has options at quarterback. Gilbert is one of four Longhorns to throw a touchdown pass this season, joining McCoy and freshman receivers Jaxon Shipley and John Harris.
But for now, it appears that McCoy will be the starter. He did well in his first career start, completing 12 of 15 attempts for 168 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-20 win over UCLA.
Ash has also produced, although his package of plays is limited.
Gilbert completed 48.4 percent of his passes in two games this season, throwing for 247 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 15 yards on seven carries.
Printed on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 as: Gilbert out for rest of season