Report: Sooners LB Caleb Kelly Suffers Potentially Significant Knee Injury

Parker Thune

Through travail and turmoil, Caleb Kelly has waited patiently in the wings for his shot to lead the Sooner defense.

It seemed as though his time had finally come as the calendar flipped to 2020.

Now, the fifth-year senior's season is in jeopardy.

Reports Monday afternoon indicate that Kelly suffered an apparently significant knee injury at practice. SoonerScoop reported that on-field tests were characteristic of a torn ACL.

A knee injury cost Kelly all but four games in 2019, and he chose to take a redshirt and return in 2020 rather than test the waters in the NFL draft. A former five-star recruit, Kelly has only played a full season once over his four years in Norman.

If it's indeed an ACL injury, Kelly would likely miss the entire 2020 season, and it stands to reason that the California native would pursue an NCAA medical hardship waiver to obtain a sixth year of eligibility. He wouldn't be the first Sooner to do so; former Oklahoma quarterback Jason White nearly won a second consecutive Heisman Trophy as a sixth-year senior in 2004. Wide receiver Nick Basquine played a sixth year in 2019 for Oklahoma as well.

Sooner quarterback Tanner Mordecai also suffered an injury Monday and will miss practice time, but the undisclosed ailment should not impact his availability come the season opener on Aug. 29. Mordecai is expected to back up Spencer Rattler.

SoonerScoop also reported on its premium message board that junior college transfer Justin Harrington, one of Oklahoma's prized defensive back recruits, is dealing with an undisclosed injury of his own. His status is unclear.

SI Sooners will provide updates on Kelly's condition as more information becomes available.

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