In yet another significant blow in the Kansas University football team's dented and dinged-up armor, starting tailback John Randle will not play in Saturday's football game at Missouri.
KU coach Mark Mangino announced at his weekly media session Tuesday that Randle "tore a muscle that is close to an organ" and the injury resulted in internal bleeding. It likely will take up to four weeks to heal, meaning Randle's season is done.
Randle suffered the injury against Texas during the last of his seven carries that resulted in just four yards rushing. He had been hobbled by an ankle injury in previous weeks, limiting his mobility and production.
"The best we could see on tape, and how John describes it, there was a play where his body was twisted and he took an impact at the same time," Mangino said. "Thanks to the good work of (team doctor) Larry Magee, he realized that there was a problem that needed immediate attention."
Clark Green will start in Randle's place, while Jon Cornish and Austine Nwabuisi also could see time at tailback. Green rushed for 39 yards on 10 carries in Saturday's 27-23 loss to the Longhorns. Nwabuisi added a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
For the season, Randle rushed for 540 yards on 147 carries with six touchdowns.¢
QB update: Mangino said with certainty that Brian Luke would be the starting quarterback Saturday against the Tigers.
After Luke, it gets hazy.
Currently, Adam Barmann, Jason Swanson and John Nielsen all are battling various injuries. Swanson will not play, but Barmann and Nielsen could be used in emergency situations.
Barmann has missed the last two weeks with an apparent shoulder injury that he suffered against Iowa State. He could be cleared by doctors this week, but all that would do is assure him that he couldn't be injured any further. He still might not be able to perform at a level that would benefit the team.
Nielsen is in the same boat while battling an injury to his right foot or ankle. If he is used as an emergency QB, it would consist of a lot of handoffs and minimal passing, due to mobility problems.
The bottom line? Luke needs to stay healthy Saturday.
"I've already had my injury," Luke said of an early-season setback that forced him to miss a few weeks of practice. "I got it out of the way."
Hyping 'Slash': The KU athletic department sent out postcards to various sportswriters and sports information directors hyping sophomore do-it-all Charles Gordon this week.
The postcard calls Gordon -- nicknamed "Slash Gordon" -- an All-America candidate on the front underneath two action photos, and lists Gordon's accomplishments on the back.
Among other things, Gordon is tied for the NCAA lead with six interceptions this season, the most by a KU player since 1951. He also has two receiving touchdowns and a passing touchdown on offense.¢
Got his back: Many of the players available to the media Tuesday were asked to respond to postgame comments Mangino made following the Texas game -- words that since have made national headlines.
Mangino criticized officiating, and implied that money and Bowl Championship Series implications might have had something to do with it. He was particularly livid about an offensive-pass-interference call on Gordon that had a huge influence in how the game turned out.
Mangino later apologized and took back his statements, but the words caught the respect of his players.
"Personally, I'm proud of him for standing up for us," linebacker Nick Reid said. "He definitely said some things he shouldn't have, but the team kind of liked it."¢
Players of the game: Mangino announced Tuesday that junior Charlton Keith was named defensive player of the week by KU's coaching staff, after recording four tackles for a loss and two sacks.
Mark Simmons -- who caught eight passes for 135 yards -- was named for offense, while Lawrence High product Brandon McAnderson was cited for special teams.