Stillwater News Press

August 16, 2009

Commentary: Robinson's injury a season-crippler?

Scott Nulph — Sports Editor

As classes begin today across the Oklahoma State campus, the OSU football program takes a well-needed breather.

The Cowboys have been going solid for 10 straight days, including two days with two practices. It takes a lot for kids to look forward to going to school more than playing football, but 10 days practicing in the August heat and humidity likely has the Cowboys eager to sit in a classroom for a while.

Overall, the first 10 days of practice haven’t produced much news, which is the best news possible for coach Mike Gundy and the program.

There have been plenty of postives, none more than OSU quarterback Zac Robinson and center Andrew Lewis on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s College Football Preview magazine.

And really there’s only been one negative. But it’s a big one.

Yes, it may be just a mildly pulled leg muscle. And yes, all reports have Robinson returning behind center for Oklahoma State when football practice resumes Tuesday. But the first shadow has been officially cast on the 2009 season.

Maybe it’s partly due to the fact that Gundy mentioned this past week that Robinson has has gone through this type of injury before. An injured hamstring is like an injured back: Does it every really heal?

The biggest problem with this injury, of course, is that Robinson does almost as much damage with his legs and he does with his arm. Robinson’s running ability makes the Cowboys’ offense much harder to defend.

So do you put a limit on Robinson’s running once the regular season starts Sept. 5?

That might be like trying to stop the sun from shining.

So even three weeks before the start of the season, Cowboy Nation likely already has started to get a nervous feeling about how healthy its starting quarterback and offensive lynch pin will be this season.

Think the air might be sucked out of Boone Pickens Stadium the first time Robinson runs with the ball against Georgia, as 60,000 Cowboy fans — not to mention 130 or so coaches and players — collectively hold their breath?

Isn’t it ironic that the one guy the Cowboys simply can’t afford to lose is one of the players to have missed the most time in fall practice with a injury?

The optimist might say that Robinson is just getting this injury thing out of the way now. The pesimist might say that there really is something to that Sports Illustrated cover jinx.

Somewhere in the middle likely lies the truth.

Robinson’s hamstring will go a long way to determining just how successful the 2009 season is the for the Cowboys.

Hopefully, a week in August will be the only thing the senior misses this season.