Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday he’s anticipating the return of Michael Brewer shortly, at which point he’ll try to get the sophomore quarterback up to speed to play again soon.
“I definitely think when he gets healthy, we’ll see what he’s got,” Kingsbury said. “It’s been a long layoff for him, but he’s a very talented kid and a talented player. I would imagine if he can come back in pretty good form, pretty good shape that we’ll get him right back in the mix.”
Kingsbury made the comments during the weekly Big 12 football coaches teleconference. Tech (4-0, 1-0 in the Big 12) has an open date and, as is its norm at the start of a bye week, did not have its usual Monday press conference with the head coach and players.
Brewer has been out since early August with a back injury.
As for how far away Brewer’s return is, Kingsbury said, “I don’t think far, if there are no setbacks. With what I’m hearing from our trainers, very near future. So this bye week helps, and we’ll see where he’s at next week.”
Kingsbury has never given a specific time frame for Brewer’s return. Two weeks ago, he said Brewer would be eased back into practice once he’s cleared and would need “an extended period of time” before he’s game ready.
Kingsbury said the demands the Tech offense puts on the quarterback make it difficult to jump in and be effective right away.
Brewer passed for 375 yards and four touchdowns last year as 2012 senior Seth Doege’s backup, after which it was generally assumed he would take over as the starter.
He wasn’t accorded that status in spring training, however, and was out virtually from the start of preseason practice with the back injury he suffered in the summer.
Tech has gone with true freshmen quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb in the first four games, with Mayfield starting each. The Lake Travis graduate captivated Tech fans in the first two games, throwing for more than 760 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions.
The last two games against TCU and Texas State, however, he’s thrown four interceptions and been less effective.
Webb threw the game-winning touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of the 20-10 victory against TCU and then played 10 series to Mayfield’s five in a 33-7 win Saturday against Texas State.
Mayfield was knocked out of the TCU game in the fourth quarter with a thigh bruise. He came out early in the second quarter Saturday, Kingsbury said from a combination of taking a hit to the back and the offense not getting off to a good start. He re-entered late in the game for one series.
Kingsbury said some rough patches are to be expected with freshman quarterbacks.
“There’s an adjustment period to playing college football,” he said. “To be 4-0 with true freshmen quarterbacks, you’ll take that. We’ve got to continue to play better, and a lot of that’s on me. I’ve got to continue to coach better and get that position playing better, and we will.
“They’ll get used to the speed of the game and get used to our offense. They’ve just got to take what they’re doing in practice over to games.”
Tech's next game is Oct. 5 at Kansas. On Monday, that game was set for an 11 a.m. kickoff on Fox Sports 1 (Suddenlink Cable channel 51).
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