Monday, October 7, 2013

KU football’s Tony Pierson ‘day-to-day’ with head injury

Kansas running back Tony Pierson shakes Texas Tech defensive back Bruce Jones during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back Tony Pierson shakes Texas Tech defensive back Bruce Jones during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.


Kansas University running back/wide receiver Tony Pierson, who was injured during last week's loss to Texas Tech after being slammed to the ground following a long catch and run, is listed as day-to-day, according to KU coach Charlie Weis.

Weis, who said Monday morning that the good news was that all Pierson is dealing with is a headache, said KU's leading receiver could miss a week, a month or no time at all and that the Jayhawks were going to let the week play out before making any final decisions about Saturday's game at TCU.

“When I got (to where Pierson was injured last Saturday) he was out," Weis said. "You know how it is in today's game with heads and concussions. The last thing you're gonna do is rush a player in. So we'll just see how it goes.”

Weis said Pierson would be held out of practice on Tuesday and added that he would not do anything to put the 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior from East St. Louis, Ill., in any kind of jeopardy.

“When I put out a depth chart tomorrow, I'm not putting him down there,” Weis said. “When the doctors and trainers tell me that it's safe for him to go, that's when he'll go. And he will not go one second before that. I don't try to be the doctor here, I just heed their advice.”

Pierson leads the Jayhawks (2-2 overall, 0-1 Big 12) in both receptions (21) and receiving yards (327) so far this season. He led the way, once again, with 118 yards on six receptions in the loss to Texas Tech, including the highlight-reel-worthy 39-yard gain that ended with him laying sprawled out on the KU sideline with coaches, teammates and trainers huddled around him.

Given that Pierson's injury initially looked so serious and came less than 24 hours after the tragic passing of KU recruit and Shawnee Mission West senior Andre Maloney, Weis said his heart sunk and mind raced when he first went over to check on Pierson.

"When I first got there, that was definitely flashing through my mind," Weis said. "But very quickly after I got there, his eyes opened and he started moving his extremities."

Although the result of Saturday's game definitely left a bad taste in his mouth, Weis said the heart-breaking situation with Maloney followed by the scary injury to Pierson made for a tough weekend all the way around.

"That was a bad one," he said. "It was really, really bad. When you recruit somebody, especially somebody who says yes, you're emotionally invested with these kids. To go through the loss of one of your future players so unexpectedly, and then to be sitting there with one of your favorite guys (out cold) — one of your best players is one thing but one of your favorite young men — you're saying, 'Let's not have a repeat here.'"

Late Saturday night, Pierson jumped on Twitter to let fans, friends and family members know that he was doing all right. His Tweet was simple and came in all capital letters: "I'M GOOD!!!," he wrote, adding an emoticon of two hands held in the air.

With the scary part behind them, the hope now is that Pierson can get back on the field sooner than later so KU's already struggling offense won't have to go too long without his dynamic play-making ability. But it seems very possible that he may miss some time.

"I know one thing," Weis said. "With Tony or anyone else, at least at Kansas, we're gonna err on the side of caution."


milehighhawk 8 years ago

Sounds slightly better than what I'd feared, but who knows...

Also, not to be that guy, but I think it's "err" on the side of caution

Matt Tait 8 years ago

No, you're right. Thanks. Just trying to get it up there quickly. It's fixed. Appreciate it.

leonard 8 years ago

You are that guy...and why we've earned our moniker of "snob hill".

Grammar police on a football board...sheesh.

Duane Rice 8 years ago

You don't have standards if you,re drinking PBR. JUST KIDDING

johnsont1 8 years ago

yeah, 'error' is a noun. 'err' is the verb.

John Myers 8 years ago

I only really saw one replay of the play he was injured on. Not sure if I just missed it or what, but it really didn't look like the play was anything out of the ordinary. Like the announcers, I just thought he was laid out because he was exhausted from the run. Very strange, indeed. Get well soon!!!!!!!!

dylans 8 years ago

That's what I thought too, however, after reading this headline I thought he was dying.

Matt Tait 8 years ago

Day to day is pretty standard terminology in athletics for could play at any time. Had it been something more serious, the headline would've reflected that with "critical" or "serious" or the like.

dylans 8 years ago

I realized that in hindsight. Sneaky journalist, tricking me into reading a KU football article.

Brad Farha 8 years ago

His head slammed down on the track (the thin orange strip that runs along the sideline, I assume for long jump events). Can't say for certain that hitting his head on field turf or grass would have been better, but I suspect that to be the case.

Pbbut 8 years ago

As Tony was lying on the track, Coach Weis was standing by as the staff did their work and he turned to a group of photographers and spoke loudly, not yelling, saying something to the effect of "That's pretty classless." I don't know if that was in response to a comment or something else going on, but he didn't appear to be happy with them.

316kufan 8 years ago

I was wondering what was happening, Weis said "is this what you want", didn't know he was talking to some photographers I did see some TT fans around the area and a TT fan was then talking to a guest service guy after TP got up but who knows.

dylans 8 years ago

There was a photog standing over Tony taking his picture when he first was laying on the sideline, before people realized it was an injury.

Jillian Andrews 8 years ago

Coach Weis is foolish and uneducated if he thinks it's "just a headache". Brain injury is SERIOUS and this young man will likely have resulting issues for years to come. This is why the NFL was sued and paid out millions. Please take brain injury seriously! It can effect short-term memory, personality, emotional lability...and the list goes on and on. Multiple brain injuries, as are often found in sports, especially football, compound and exacerbate the effects. It's time to stop dismissing brain injuries. It's their BRAIN for god sakes...!!!!!

crimsonorblue22 8 years ago

There are rules about concussions now. IF he had one, he wouldn't be playing until cleared by a Dr. Coach is concerned, please reread!

Jillian Andrews 8 years ago

Yeah. I did read it. Did you read the headline? "KU football's Tony Pierson 'day-to-day' with head injury". That leads me to believe HE HAS A HEAD INJURY!!!!!

And um, "rules". Ha! Colleges never break rules and jeopardize their players. Right...

Greg Ledom 8 years ago

Stops, he simply said all he was currently dealing with was a headache. If you read the whole article you would understand his concern and his validation that it's up to the experts to determine his state and when he will play. Your reaching here.

Jillian Andrews 8 years ago

I've worked with people with TBIs for 25 years. I'm not "reaching"...I'm informed. You clearly are not.

KUFan90 8 years ago

Maybe he will have to transfer to Arizona to continue his collegiate career.

CharlieHawk 8 years ago

Don't take any chances. Let him rest a couple of weeks,Please..

Daniel Reinigungsmittel 8 years ago

Bad news about Pierson, but I guess this will be our chance to see what Bourbon can do.

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