Venables: Sooners get positive indications on Drake Stoops, Dasan McCullough injuries

Venables: Sooners get positive indications on Drake Stoops, Dasan McCullough injuries

The Oklahoma starters who exited with injuries in the first half of the Sooners’ 73-0 win over Arkansas State are not expected to miss significant time.

Eli Lederman

By Eli Lederman

| Sep 2, 2023, 6:39pm CDT

Eli Lederman

By Eli Lederman

Sep 2, 2023, 6:39pm CDT

NORMAN — The two Oklahoma starters who exited with injuries in the first half Saturday are not expected to miss significant time, according to coach Brent Venables.

Wide receiver Drake Stoops and linebacker Dasan McCullough did not return to the Sooners’ season-opening 73-0 victory over Arkansas State after each headed to the locker room accompanied by training staff before halftime.

“We had a few guys that were banged up that probably could have played had we needed them,” Venables said.

Stoops began his sixth season at OU by torching the Red Wolves’ secondary early with four receptions for 56 yards on the first two drives, including a 10-yard touchdown reception to open the scoring.

However, Stoops’ productive day came to a close when left the field holding his right shoulder on OU’s second offensive series. Stoops was later spotted on the sideline with ice on his right shoulder and his right arm in a sling.

“Drake maybe just had an AC sprain,” Venables said. “He was anxious to get back in there but we didn’t need him.”

Oklahoma’s Drake Stoops (12) grabs his shoulder after a play Saturday against Arkansas State. (BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK)

McCullough, the first-year Indiana transfer, was next to visit the locker room after sustaining an ankle injury in the second quarter. He left the field following the game with a protective boot on his left foot.

“I don’t think it’s real severe but he wasn’t strong enough to go back in,” Venables said.

Elsewhere on the injury report, wide receiver D.J. Graham (unknown) and offensive tackle Jacob Sexton (knee) were among those who did not dress in Week 1.

Venables revealed postgame that safety Robert Spears-Jennings is expected to be clear ahead of the Sooners’ Week 2 matchup with SMU (5 p.m., ESPN+) after he was limited through fall camp.

Running back Gavin Sawchuk and defensive lineman R Mason Thomas both dressed Saturday but did not play. Both are expected to return within the next week.

“Both could have played today,” Venables said. “But we chose to hold ‘em out. R Mason had an ankle (injury) early in camp. He’s looked great.

“Gavin, his words would tell you he’s about 95 percent. So we decided to hold him today but would expect him back this week.”

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Eli Lederman reports on the University of Oklahoma for Sellout Crowd. He began his professional career covering the University of Missouri with the Columbia Missourian and later worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before two years writing on the Sooners and Cowboys at the Tulsa World. Born and raised in Mamaroneck, New York, Lederman grew up a rabid consumer of the New York sports pages and an avid fan of the New York Mets. He entered sportswriting at 14 years old and later graduated from the University of Missouri. Away from the keyboard, he can usually be found exploring the Oklahoma City food scene or watching/playing fútbol (read: soccer). He can be reached at [email protected].

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