The No. 3 Baylor football team suffered another blow as left offensive tackle Spencer Drango underwent back surgery Tuesday.
Drango has been struggling with a disc injury that has worsened as the season has progressed. The unbeaten Bears will face No. 11 Oklahoma State with the Big 12 lead on the line Saturday in Stillwater.
“It’s been a lingering deal and I think it got to the point where this is the best option for him and his future,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “We think there’s a very good possibility that he’ll be ready for a bowl game.”
Briles said his coaching staff will look at several options to replace Drango as the Bears head into the final three games of the regular season.
Sophomore Pat Colbert has backed up Drango at left tackle, but there’s also a possibility that senior right tackle Kelvin Palmer could move to the left side. Troy Baker, a junior who started last season at right tackle, has been working his way back after suffering an ACL tear in the spring.
“Pat (Colbert) is a great athlete with great size and a lot of length,” Baylor offensive line coach Randy Clements said. “He’s just a young guy who needs a chance. My job is to put the best five (offensive linemen) on the field. Just like any other position we’ve got guys who have been waiting their chance to prove what they can do.”
Drango is a two-year starter for the Bears who was a freshman All-American last season. He’s been one of the leaders of an offensive line that has helped the Bears top the nation with 684.8 yards and 61.2 points per game.
“Spencer has been a very good player,” Clements said. “You never want to lose a guy period, but a guy who has been as consistent as he has is tough to replace.”
Drango is the latest in a string of injuries for the Bears. Receiver Tevin Reese is out for at least the regular season with a dislocated wrist that he suffered two weeks ago against Oklahoma.
Running backs Lache Seastrunk (groin injury) and Glasco Martin (knee sprain) missed last weekend’s game against Texas Tech, and are questionable this weekend. With the veteran backs out, freshman Shock Linwood rushed for 187 yards on 29 carries and freshman Devin Chafin added 100 yards on 11 carries against the Red Raiders.
Linebacker Bryce Hager suffered a groin injury against Texas Tech, and is also questionable. Briles said Aiavion Edwards played well against Texas Tech after Hager left the game in the second quarter.