"Everyone's different in how they heal, the soreness, how they handle it and how quickly it dissipates where he can move and be comfortable again throwing the ball," coach Bob Stoops said after the Sooners' practice Monday. "Anywhere from two to four weeks is what we're anticipating."
Stoops said the initial evaluations by doctors showed that Bradford did not suffer any damage to his collarbone, rotator cuff or other parts of his shoulder when he sprained his AC joint just before halftime in Oklahoma's 14-13 loss to No. 20 BYU on Saturday. Those evaluations also did not suggest surgery, although another doctor's opinion is due in on Tuesday.
"In my mind, that's completely out. That's probably a little biased because obviously I want to be out there playing," Bradford said. "After that opinion does come in, I probably will have to sit down with the coaches and my family one more time just to make sure that getting back out there is the right decision for me."
Stoops said he expected to make an announcement Tuesday on the status of second-team All-American tight end Jermaine Gresham, who missed the BYU game with cartilage damage in his right knee.
Stoops said doctors were consulting with Gresham, a top NFL prospect, before determining a treatment plan.
"It affects us in a big way, there's no denying that," Stoops said. "Jermaine's a major presence and player and a go-to guy. It changes the complexion of our offense significantly, but you deal with it."
Bradford said he spoke Sunday with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who had a bruised AC joint during his team's run to the Super Bowl two years ago. Bradford has been told he has a Grade 3 sprain. He already started rehabbing Sunday, trying to improve the range of motion in his shoulder.
"It does feel a lot better today, not nearly as painful as it was Saturday," Bradford said. "Hopefully I can keep progressing like this."
Bradford has also received get-well wishes from the quarterbacks who finished second and third in last year's Heisman Trophy balloting.
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, who became friends with Bradford during the Heisman festivities last December and then while rooming together at the Manning Camp for high school players over the summer, said Monday he sent his Sooners counterpart a text message.
"I told him I'd be praying for him and hope that he gets better soon. ... I wish him the speediest recovery possible," McCoy said. "I hope that he gets back and plays as soon as he can, whether that's for us or next week. I want him to be able to play because he's a great football player."
Florida's Tim Tebow, who won the 2007 Heisman and finished third last year, called it "a tough injury."
"Obviously, no one wants him to get hurt. No one wants that," said Tebow, whose Gators beat Bradford's Sooners 24-14 for the BCS title in January. "We wish that he has a speedy recovery and gets back to playing. He came back for his [junior] year to do some great things, so I wish that he could come back and play it, too."
Bradford was considered a potential No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft before he decided instead to return for his junior year at Oklahoma, with his primary goal to win the national championship he narrowly missed a year earlier.
Only one game into the season, that dream is in jeopardy.
"I don't know if I can really put that into words, how big of a disappointment it is," Bradford said. "But that's in the past now. There's nothing I can do about that. There's nothing we as a team can do about that game."
The Sooners play Idaho State of the Football Championship Subdivision on Saturday in their home opener. Of more concern are games looming against Tulsa on Sept. 19, at Miami on Oct. 3 and the showdown with No. 2 Texas in Dallas on Oct. 17.
Now, Bradford's task is to serve as a mentor to redshirt freshman Landry Jones, who made his college debut while replacing the Heisman winner. He led five second-half drives, leading to a single field goal, as the Sooners struggled with undisciplined play and penalties.
"I thought Landry did a great job in the second half, carried himself great with his demeanor. Everything he did, I thought he handled it as well as you could expect and better," Stoops said. "Believe me, in the game, I thought his execution and what he did was good.
"He needed supported in a better way. He needed some guys around him not making penalties and dropping the ball."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.