LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas will likely be without star quarterback Jalon Daniels, who hurt his right shoulder in last week’s loss to TCU, leaving backup Jason Bean to start Saturday when the No. 19 Jayhawks visit struggling Oklahoma.
Daniels was hurt just before halftime in the 38-31 loss when he was scrambling toward the sideline and was sacked by the Horned Frogs’ Jamoi Hodge. He was evaluated in the medical tent before heading to the locker room ahead of the rest of the team for more tests. When he returned to the sideline in the second half, Daniels was dressed in sweats.
“Jalon did not practice today and would probably be put in the doubtful area,” Jayhawks coach Lance Leipold said Tuesday. “Again, looking at it day to day, but hasn’t done anything yet and that’s probably the extent I will comment at this time.”
Daniels had been the catalyst behind the Jayhawks’ 5-0 start to the season, earning early Heisman Trophy consideration by throwing for 1,072 yards with 11 touchdowns and one interception while running for 335 yards and five more scores.
He was 5-of-10 for 89 yards and had run seven times for 6 yards before leaving the game against the Horned Frogs.
Bean, who started nine games last season before getting hurt, nearly rallied the Jayhawks to the win.
The senior opened with a tying touchdown pass to Mason Fairchild, then connected with Luke Grimm and Quentin Skinner on TD tosses later in the third quarter. Bean threw a fourth touchdown pass to Skinner with 4 minutes, 29 seconds left, knotting it 31-all, but TCU’s Max Duggan answered with a go-ahead touchdown pass to Quentin Johnston with 1:36 to go.
Bean had the Jayhawks on the move one last time, but a fourth-down pass from the TCU 34 fell incomplete with 37 seconds left. Wide receiver Lawrence Arnold appeared to be held on the play, but no flag was thrown. And all the Horned Frogs had to do was snap the ball, take a knee and let the clock run out to remain unbeaten.
“No matter who’s in,” Bean said, “we have the ability to go down and score the ball.”
Bean finished 16-of-24 for 262 yards, matched a career best with the four TD throws and added 34 yards rushing. But he also threw an inexplicable interception deep in Kansas territory, and TCU reached the end zone five plays later.
Still, it was an impressive performance on short notice, and now Bean will have first-team reps all week in practice to get ready for the Sooners, who are coming off an embarrassing 49-0 loss to Texas in the Red River Showdown.
“It’s really a credit to him. We all recognize that,” Leipold said of the dual-threat quarterback from Mansfield, Texas. “I stood here in August and talked about [Bean] playing well, and it wasn’t just to appease him.”
One thing the Jayhawks have going in their favor is that the styles of Bean and Daniels are similar. Both are speedy quarterbacks capable of running the option, scrambling and making plays in space, and that means Leipold and Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki won’t have to make wholesale changes to the game plan.
“You’re always going to tweak to somebody’s strengths, but you know, the call sheet is the call sheet and we’re going to continue to do what we can to be as multiple as possible,” Leipold said. “If he ends up being there for a while, I’m sure there are things he’s more comfortable with than other plays or something that Jalon runs, but again, that hasn’t been a heavy dose of conversation yet.”