- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight isn't expected to practice for two weeks and will miss at least one game after suffering a bruised knee Saturday against West Virginia, coach Bob Stoops said Monday.
"Trevor does have a bruised knee," Stoops said. "He will in all likelihood be out for this week. Blake Bell will start."
Stoops said he thought Bell "looked comfortable" and "was doing everything like you'd want him to do."
Knight, a redshirt freshman, injured the knee on a run at the end of the first half of the Sooners' 16-7 win over the Mountaineers. He returned in the third quarter but had passes intercepted on back-to-back possessions and was replaced by Bell at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Knight completed 10 of 20 passes but was only 1-of-5 passing in the second half.
"When we made the switch, regardless of what reasonings, things just weren't going as well as we felt they should have," Stoops said. "So we wanted to give Blake an opportunity. With Trevor now being out a week or two ... we're starting Blake here this week."
It's not all bad news for OU (2-0), as the Sooners expected quarterback Kendal Thompson to return to practice Monday for the first time since breaking his foot in the first practice of preseason camp. Thompson, a redshirt sophomore, will be Bell's backup against Tulsa (1-1).
Bell, Thompson and Knight have been battling since January to replace former OU quarterback Landry Jones.
If Thompson's injury flares up, then fourth-stringer Cody Thomas would be Bell's backup against the Golden Hurricane.
The situation has all the makings of an in-season quarterback derby, something the Sooners haven't faced since 2005, when Paul Thompson started the opener -- a shocking home loss to TCU -- before giving way to Rhett Bomar, who started the rest of the season.
Stoops has said many times that the preseason competition was close between Knight, Bell and Thompson, and he waited until nine days before the season opener to choose Knight over Bell as the Sooners' starter. Before Thompson's injury, Stoops said Thompson "was right in the middle" of the competition with Bell and Knight.
Stoops said he expects it will take Thompson about a week "to get back in the groove. He was doing fantastic before he got hurt. He's been in the room and at practice mentally. He should pick it up fairly quickly."
So how do Oklahoma coaches decide between Knight, Bell and Thompson? Stoops wouldn't give any indication.
"I've said it for a year," Stoops said. "They're all pretty much the same. They all can run. They all can throw. They're all athletic. There's not a lot of difference in their skill set as far as what they can do."
Stoops said he doesn't have a policy -- as do some football coaches -- about players potentially losing starting jobs because of injury.
"I'm sure, through my years, some have and some have not," he said. "A lot of what determines that is if it's a guy that's played for three years and has already earned it and we know what he can do, when he gets injured, it's pretty likely I'm going to put him back in there when he gets back. If a guy hasn't been playing for two or three years, then maybe not. So, I don't know."
Running back Brennan Clay, who rushed for a career-high 170 yards on 22 carries against West Virginia, said that as far as the players are concerned, there has been no distraction caused by the discussion about who will play quarterback.
"We know whoever is going to be our starting quarterback is going to get the job done," Clay said. "We have faith in him. We rely on him and he is going to lead our offense out there and we're going to get the job done. I don't think that's a distraction for us. We put our trust in our quarterback."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
2dSam Khan Jr.