Big 12 News

Oklahoma DB Robert Spears-Jennings Undergoes Shoulder Surgery

Nov 3, 2018; Lubbock, TX, USA; An Oklahoma Sooners helmet on the sidelines during the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

One of the Oklahoma Sooners’ defensive backs is out for the rest of the spring. Robert Spears-Jennings underwent shoulder surgery this week to take care of an issue, and that will sideline him for the rest of April and the months just ahead, head coach Brent Venables announced after practice Wednesday.

“We went ahead and had a shoulder surgery with him a day or so ago, yesterday,” Venables said. “So, he’ll be out the rest of spring so we can get him back by fall camp. It just became so bothersome that he needed to get it done now. But he was having a really good, strong spring.”

Spears-Jennings saw action in nine games and logged 15 tackles and 0.5 tackle for loss. That included a career-high five stops at West Virginia.

 

Meanwhile, running back Jovantae Barnes will also the rest of spring football after he’s underwent a procedure to clear up something that’s bothered him for quite some time.

“He’s good,” Venables said. “He had a little surgery that just is something from high school that just bothered him. He was fighting through it his first year or so here, and I just thought this would be a good time to clean that up. And he’s shown—we practiced him the first part, first few practices, and wanted to get him a jumpstart on the summer from healing standpoint.”

This is after after Barnes finished second on the team with 519 yards and five touchdowns on 116 carries during an impressive freshman campaign in 2022. It included a career-high 108 yards on 27 carries, with a touchdown in the Cheez-It Bowl against Florida State.

Barnes also hauled in five passes for 26 yards. He appeared in 11 games.

 

Elsewhere, there are a few other injuries of note for the Sooners. Those include wide receivers D.J. Graham and J.J. Hester.

“He had a quad strain, so he missed four practices,” Venables said, with respect to Graham. “So, he’s just trying to get back in, too.

“JJ is a little bit banged up, so we had to shelve him for a few days. But he was having a really good first four days prior to that. We really need that to continue to develop.”

Defensive back Gentry Willams has additionally been nicked up, but just returned.

“He’s looked good,” Venables said. “He went through a little bit on Monday, and he went through more today. So, I watched some of the good-on-good stuff that he did today. He’ll be fine. It’s like riding a bike for him. He’ll get back where he was quickly. And we expect him to really make that group better as well.”

 

Venables and the Sooners are hoping to bounce back from their first losing season since the 1990s, as they finished 6-7 last fall. They open up with Arkansas State on Sept. 16.

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