University of Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert had shoulder surgery on Sept. 20, 2011. Gilbert apparently injured his shoulder during the Longhorns game against Rice on Sept. 3.
My shoulder was getting progressively worse and when the doctors did an MRI last week, their recommendation was for me to get it fixed," [Gilbert] said. "That's why I decided to have the surgery now, so 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 and quarterbacks] Coach [Bryan] Harsin and the quarterbacks as much as I can. (via BleacherReport.com)
The announcement of Gilbert’s season-ending injury came on Sept. 13—three days after the Longhorns defeated BYU, 17-16, in Austin. Gilbert was benched during the second quarter of the BYU game, with the Cougars leading, 13-0.
Against BYU, Gilbert was 2-for-8 passing with a grand total of eight yards and left the game with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Three other Longhorn quarterbacks logged playing time against BYU after Gilbert was benched, with Case McCoy completing 7-of-8 attempts for 57 yards and no interceptions.
Despite the numbers and dismal showing against BYU, when asked about his decision to undergo surgery Gilbert responded, “When the doctors did an MRI last week, their recommendation was for me to get it fixed...that‘s why I decided to have surgery now...."
If you missed the BYU game, you might think that Gilbert’s decision to have surgery was based wholly on a doctor’s recommendation. Well, think again!
While official statements concerning injuries usually don’t contain a lot of information, this one appears to be different.
In other words, the doctor might as well have told Gilbert that “Coach Brown says you are not going to see the field again this season” and that “Coach will be starting Case McCoy at quarterback from now on.”
If Gilbert had any real chance of earning his job back, he probably would have put the surgery on hold.
Gilbert is currently a junior, while McCoy is a sophomore. If Gilbert had decided to forgo the surgery, he most likely would never have received another chance at being the starting quarterback again. He would spend his time in Austin watching from the sidelines and playing backup to Case McCoy.
Instead, Gilbert is getting the surgery and rehab out of the way now so that he can spend more time preparing to earn his old job back.
And, with the help of a medical redshirt, he can gain equal footing with McCoy in terms of NCAA eligibility.