Terrance Bullitt's season-long fight through chronic shoulder problems has put him on the shelf for good. The Texas Tech starting outside linebacker will undergo surgery this week, Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said Monday, and is done for the year.
"We hate that," Tuberville said. "Same shoulder, and he just couldn't go anymore."
It will be Bullitt's second surgery in less than a year on his left shoulder. Last off-season, he had a torn labrum repaired.
Bullitt said in a mid-October interview that he had aggravated the shoulder in four games this year. He said he would feel a "shift" in the joint, and then numbness would set in.
He hurt it again nine days ago in the Red Raiders' 31-22 loss to Texas. He missed the fourth quarter of that game.
Bullitt had 19 tackles, a sack, three quarterback pressures and two pass breakups. A year ago, he was one of the defense's most productive players, with 56 tackles and a team-high 9 1/2 tackles for loss.
Tuberville said sophomores Sam Eguavoen and Zach Winbush would get more action in Bullitt's absence. He also talked in glowing terms about true freshman Micah Awe. Awe has been listed all year as Bullitt's backup, though in game time he has not always been in the rotation.
Tuberville said Awe "plays a hundred miles an hour," even if he's not always in the right place, and "is going to be a heck of a player."
"One thing I like about him, he's an excellent tackler, a good open-field tackler," Tuberville said. "I think that's what we miss is an outside linebacker tackling in open field, one-on-one. We don't do that very well. We don't play with confidence in that area."
Tuberville said the team hopes to have second-team nickel back Jarvis Phillips and starting cornerback Cornelius Douglas back this week from their injuries, but he didn't guarantee it. And the weekly Jace Amaro watch drags on with no word on when he'll return. The big tight end has missed four games after taking a big shot in the midsection from a West Virginia linebacker.
"Offensively, we still don't know anything on that side of the ball, if we've got anybody coming back or not," Tuberville said. "We'll have to wait and see how the week goes."