When Texas junior Brandon Jones returns to the football field, he will be focusing solely on his work as a safety.
In the second quarter of last week’s 24-17 win at Kansas, Jones suffered a head injury while returning a punt. Jones did not return after receiving a helmet-to-helmet hit from Emmanuel Moore, who was ejected for targeting. Jones has started eight times in UT’s secondary this fall, but an ailing ankle also cost him four games.
On Monday, Texas coach Tom Herman told reporters that Jones was “on track” to return in time for Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game. Barring any setbacks, Herman expects Jones to be practicing by Wednesday or Thursday.
Jones, though, will just be concentrating on UT’s defense when he next plays. Texas has used Jones as the returner on its “punt safe” team, but Herman said that will change. Freshman D’Shawn Jamison (13.1 yards per return) and Jones (10.8 yards per return) are the only Longhorns who have fielded punts this season.
“Yeah, (Jones) will not be returning punts,” Herman said. “We’ve got open try-outs for a punt returner this week.”
Herman also confirmed on Monday that senior linebacker Gary Johnson will be available for the upcoming rematch with Oklahoma. Johnson was suspended for the Kansas game due to an undisclosed violation of team rules. Even though he missed UT’s regular-season finale, Johnson still leads Texas with his 74 tackles.
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