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Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Broken toe costs OU leader eight weeks

By David Ubben

Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis will miss eight weeks with a broken toe, the team announced on Tuesday.

Lewis suffered the injury in practice on Monday, but it won't require surgery.

"We’re disappointed for Travis," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said in a release. "He has worked very hard and I know he’ll want to get back as quickly as possible.

"We’ll adapt in the meantime. We’ve recruited very well and have some excellent athletes in those positions. I’m confident that those players will perform well."

For now, that means playing time at Lewis' vacated weakside linebacker spot for touted sophomore Corey Nelson, who made huge waves in the spring and had been working at nickel back. The Sooners were experimenting with co-Defensive Freshman of the Year Tony Jefferson at free safety in fall camp to try and get Nelson on the field.

Stoops said Nelson was the most impressive player on the team during the spring, despite having no starting experience.

Don't be surprised if Jefferson moves back home to where he made so many plays in 2010.

The Sooners have matchups against ranked teams Florida State and Missouri in the season's first few weeks, but Lewis would likely return for the rivalry game against Texas in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Oct. 8.

Lewis has led the Sooners in tackles for each of his three seasons, amassing 362 stops over his career. It's a huge loss for the Sooners, who will adapt with talent, but will miss Lewis' wealth of experience.

More coming on the blog later today...