It's times like these that test a coach's resolve -- or maybe just force a coach to yank every hair out of his scalp.
Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino hasn't resorted to going nuts, but few would blame him if he did. The latest bad news was the fate of Adam Barmann, KU's starting quarterback, who likely is out for the season because of an apparent shoulder injury.
Barmann made the headlines, but after his bum shoulder is a number of injuries to other high-profile players -- most of them on offense, where KU needs the most help.
Besides Barmann, running backs John Randle and Clark Green both are battling pain, center Joe Vaughn has missed practice this week because of an injury, and cornerback Theo Baines missed Saturday's 13-7 loss to Iowa State because of an injury.
Because of Mangino's policy, the details regarding the injuries are undisclosed to the public. But you can bet they're constantly on Mangino's mind in private.
"It's all part of the game," Mangino said at his weekly news conference Tuesday. "I've had seasons where not one of the 22 starters had an injury that kept them out of a game. I've had seasons where we've struggled with injuries. I think it all balances out in the end. It's part of college football."
The Jayhawks (3-5 overall, 1-4 Big 12 Conference) aren't in panic mode yet. Junior Jason Swanson will slide into Barmann's role at quarterback, and Mangino doesn't expect many potholes in that transition.
In addition, Green can play through his pain, Vaughn -- who Mangino said had an injury where "the bone was sticking out" -- expects to play Saturday, and Baines and Randle are showing noticeable improvement every day. Mangino couldn't say with any certainty, though, what Baines' and Randle's availability would be for Saturday's game with Colorado, but is optimistic both will be on the field.
Regardless, Mangino's first three years at Kansas have seen a slew of health problems. Barmann's injury marks the third straight season
KU's starting quarterback will have missed significant time with an injury. Bill Whittemore missed three games each of the last two seasons with a shoulder and knee injury.
"Just as much as Xs and Os and game-planning and all the things that you do with coaching, you have to be able to coach dealing with that issue," Mangino said. "Everyone is going to have their time where their program is going to have injuries."¢
Randle update: Randle -- who has an ankle injury -- played just four plays against Iowa State on Saturday, completing two runs for little yardage and a catching a screen pass for no yardage.
The reception was his last play. Mangino took him out afterward, and Randle never saw the field again.
"He didn't follow his blockers. He ran inside," Mangino said of the screen pass. "When he came off the field, I said, 'Your blockers are set up on the screen.' He said, 'I couldn't push off to get in that direction.'"
The sophomore has received heavy treatment since getting hurt and likely will be available against the Buffaloes.
"We're more and more encouraged," Mangino said. "He feels better every day. There's a pretty good chance he'll be ready to go."¢
No red-shirt players needed: Despite the injuries, Mangino has no plans to remove any red shirts -- specifically those of running back Gary Green and quarterback Marcus Herford.
"We have to be fair to the players, too," Mangino said. "I don't know with the fact that they've been on scout team all year if we could get them prepared to play in three games, even if we wanted to do that. I don't think we need to do that. I like the personnel that we have."¢
Players of the week: Not surprisingly, linebacker Kevin Kane was named KU's defensive player of the week, Mangino announced Tuesday. Kane registered 12 tackles -- two for a loss -- against Iowa State, and also forced a fumble.
Offensive lineman Cesar Rodriguez was named defensive player of the week, while Derek Fine was cited for special teams.