Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 9
Bryce Petty's status for this week's contest against Buffalo has been decided according to John Werner of the Waco Tribune-Herald:
Briles says Petty going through practice reps and expected to start against Buffalo. Goodley and Coleman doubtful.— John Werner (@JohnWernerTrib) September 9, 2014
Updates from Saturday, Sept. 6
John Werner of the Wago Tribune Herald provides an update on Bryce Petty's status:
Bryce Petty not playing tonight.— John Werner (@JohnWernerTrib) September 6, 2014
Updates from Friday, Sept. 5
CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler has the latest on Petty:
Art Briles told me Baylor QB Bryce Petty (back) will be game-time decision for NW State.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) September 5, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Sept. 4
John Werner of the Waco Tribune Herald provides an update on Bryce Petty's back injury:
Briles says it would take big turnaround for Petty to play Saturday. Not going through practice reps.— John Werner (@JohnWernerTrib) September 3, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 2
Art Briles updated Bryce Petty's status for this weekend's game (via Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News):
Baylor coach Art Briles said injured QB Bryce Petty will not play Saturday vs. Northwestern St unless he's 100 percent.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) September 2, 2014
Petty commented on the injury via Bryan Fischer of NFL.com: "If we were to play today, I probably couldn't play today. But I'm really hopeful, really positive about Saturday."
Petty later took it a step further via Carlton:
Injured Baylor QB Bryce Petty on what it will take to keep him from playing Sat: "They'll have to take my helmet -- and run with it."— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) September 3, 2014
Updates from Monday, Sept. 1
Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com reported on Bryce Petty's injured back:
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty is day-to-day with two cracks in the transfer processes of his back, CBSSports.com learned Monday afternoon.
The discovery was made after a Monday morning MRI showed that bones sticking out from the spine were cracked, according to a spokesman. Petty said he has pain but expects to play this week against Northwestern State. The injury is expected to heal on its own.
Baylor confirmed the injury to Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News:
Confirmed with Baylor that QB Bryce Petty has two cracked transverse processes in back. Revealed by MRI. Matter of dealing with pain.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) September 1, 2014
Petty talked about his injury briefly on Twitter:
Thank you all for the prayers and comments. Means so much to me and my family. No need to worry God's got this!! Be back in no time! #BU— Bryce Petty (@b_petty14) September 2, 2014
Earlier, ESPN's Jake Trotter provided a synopsis of Baylor head coach Art Briles discussing Petty's injury status:
Art Briles: Bryce Petty is day-to-day. Antwan Goodley, hopefully, will be back in a few days.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 1, 2014
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty left with a back injury during the Bears' season opener against SMU Sunday night. It leaves the Big 12 contenders in limbo while awaiting further details.
Bears head coach Art Briles told Fox Sports 1's Kris Budden that the senior star would likely ride the bench in the second half, via Fox College Football:
John Werner of the Waco Tribune-Herald reports Petty did not start the second half:
Baylor resting Petty who took some hard shots in first half. Seth Russell in the game at QB.— John Werner (@JohnWernerTrib) September 1, 2014
Chuck Carlton of The Dallas Morning News provides an update on Petty's injury:
Injury update from Baylor: QB Bryce Petty suffered “bruise to lower back” and will not return.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) September 1, 2014
Although the No. 10 team in the country carried a comfortable 31-0 lead into halftime against the Mustangs, Petty didn't look himself. He completed just 13 of his 23 pass attempts for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
Fox Sports Southwest's David Ubben noted that Petty was visibly favoring his back:
Bryce Petty is banged up. He's been favoring his back a little and moving gingerly already. That's a legit concern.— David Ubben (@davidubben) September 1, 2014
ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon questioned some of Baylor's play-calling when it was clear that the Bears QB was less than 100 percent:
Love Art Briles, but why the heck is Bryce Petty running the ball with a sore back and a 24-0 lead?!?— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) September 1, 2014
Petty entered the season as one of the most-hyped quarterbacks in the nation. He finally got his chance to start last year and delivered. He completed 62 percent of his throws for 4,200 yards along with 32 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also added 14 rushing touchdowns.
His presence leading the offense made Baylor a major threat to win the Big 12. It went 11-2 last season and featured enough talent and experience on both sides of the ball to take another step forward.
The Bears were even a little surprised to see Oklahoma get the nod atop the conference's preseason poll. Brandon Chatmon of ESPN passed along Petty's response to the vote: "That's not up to us to vote, it's up to us to play. That tells us that we're not there yet, and that's fine with me. I don't think you're ever there. Once you think you've arrived, that's when you're in trouble."
Can Baylor survive a short-term absence from Petty?
Petty is a crucial piece of the championship puzzle, though. If he's forced to miss an extended period of time due to the ailment, the team's chances of winning the Big 12 take a major hit.
He also has something to prove before making the NFL jump after the campaign ends. Although he's put up outstanding numbers, there are always question marks when it comes to quarterbacks coming out of high-powered offenses like Baylor.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com is among the skeptics after studying tape from last season despite numbers that would suggest Petty was among the best quarterbacks in the country:
Petty didn't exhibit the arm talent, accuracy and playmaking ability I would expect from a franchise quarterback; I would need to see dramatic improvements in his mechanics and overall play to place him in the conversation with Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and Brent Hundley as the top quarterback in the 2015 class.
Petty was working to prove he was more than a simple-system quarterback. Now, his efforts are on hold until further testing shows the severity of the injury. Baylor and its fans will hope it's nothing more than a scare, and he can make a relatively swift return.
Seth Russell will fill the void until the senior leader is set to return. The sophomore backup flashed some upside during limited playing time last season. He will need to cut down on his interceptions if he's forced to start for awhile with Petty sidelined.
Once more information is provided, the Big 12 outlook for Baylor could shift considerably.