RODNEY ANDERSON

Rodney Anderson's 2018 OU football season ended on Sept. 8, when he sustained a serious knee injury during a victory over UCLA. STEVE SISNEY/The Oklahoman

NORMAN – Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley told the Tulsa World that running back Rodney Anderson is not with the team while recovering from a season-ending knee injury.

During Anderson’s four years at OU, there have been three injury setbacks. Most recently, there was the right-knee injury sustained during the Sept. 8 victory over UCLA.

Anderson left the state of Oklahoma for his rehabilitation process.

“Rodney’s dad is in the medical field,” Riley reported. “With this particular injury, (the Anderson family) had a doctor and a rehab center that they wanted to use. They chose to do that.”

Anderson graduated from OU in May, but remains enrolled in online courses to sustain his eligibility with the Sooner program.

A fourth-year junior, the Houston-area native has one remaining season of eligibility. While Riley says that Anderson hasn’t formally retired from the OU program, it seems highly probable that when the 6-foot-1, 220-pound running back plays football again, it will be on the professional level.

Since Anderson’s surgery, it has been presumed that he would choose to make himself available for the 2019 NFL draft.

After having missed most of the 2015 season because of a leg injury and all of the 2016 season due to a neck issue, Anderson last year developed into an elite back. Against a strong Georgia defense in a College Football Playoff semifinal game, Anderson rushed for 201 yards.

Over the course of OU’s final eight games last season, he totaled 1,079 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had four-touchdown performances against TCU and West Virginia.

During the 2018 preseason, it was expected that Anderson would be highly productive and a possible Heisman Trophy candidate.

Without Anderson, the seventh-ranked Sooners’ run game has been driven by sophomore Trey Sermon (516 yards, five touchdowns) and redshirt freshman Kennedy Brooks (454 yards and an 11.9-yard average per attempt).

In addition to having completed 73 percent of his passes for 28 touchdowns against only three interceptions, quarterback Kyler Murray has been a weapon in the run game. In advance of OU’s next assignment – Saturday’s 7 p.m., ABC-televised Big 12 game at Texas Tech – Murray has rushed for 474 yards and six TDs.

Bill Haisten

918-581-8397

bill.haisten@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @billhaisten

Sports Columnist

Bill joined the Tulsa World in 1990. Prior to having become a sports columnist in 2016, he was the only sports writer in Tulsa World history to have covered OU, OSU, the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts sports on an everyday basis. Phone: 918-581-8397