Oklahoma Sooners running back Samaje Perine will not be on the field until fall practice because of an ankle injury.
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Perine Underwent Ankle Surgery
Monday, Jan. 11
The Sooners' leading rusher in 2015, with 1,349 yards and 16 touchdowns, will miss spring practice after having surgery to repair a ligament in his ankle, which he hurt in the Orange Bowl against the Clemson Tigers, per ESPN's Matt Fortuna.
Clemson held Perine to 58 yards on only 15 carries in Oklahoma's 37-17 loss to the Tigers.
The good news for Perine is that he's handling the situation now and could be ready when the Sooners report to practice again after the summer. Perine was one of the biggest reasons why Oklahoma finished the season strong and earned a spot in the College Football Playoff.
He ran for 166, 188 and 131 yards, respectively, in Oklahoma's last three regular-season games, carrying the Sooners to the Big 12 championship.
Oklahoma tweeted an update on Perine's injury, followed by a short statement from head coach Bob Stoops:
Samaje Perine had ankle surgery today, will miss spring ball. Coach Stoops: "Everything went well. We expect a full and complete recovery."— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) January 12, 2016
Perine's absence will provide opportunities for others to break out in the backfield. Freshman tailback Joe Mixon ran for 753 yards as Perine's backup, with his best performance coming against Oklahoma State, when he had 14 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
While Mixon showed he's going to be great, having Perine in the backfield alongside quarterback Baker Mayfield is the preferred option for the Sooners.