Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels, who missed KU’s season-opener against Missouri State due to back tightness, was a late scratch for KU’s game against Texas on Saturday.
The Jayhawks fell 40-14 to Texas in Austin.
Pregame, a KU Athletics official told The Star that Daniels re-aggravated his back injury in warmups. Kansas coach Lance Leipold said postgame that Daniels suffered the injury in KU’s hotel walkthrough.
“We were doing some warmup at the hotel is what I know right now,” Leipold said. “I was not aware of it bothering him to this extent until we got here. Our medical staff tried to do different things to try to help him. We thought maybe we could get him out there after the game had started, and it just didn’t happen.”
Backup quarterback Jason Bean said he was told he was the starting quarterback about 30 to 45 minutes before the game.
“It is what it is — can’t do much about it,” Leipold said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever had that happen like that. Jason stepped in. He gets reps, he gets work. We did walkthroughs at the hotel, and (Bean) barely got any reps. ... But it’s what happened.”
Daniels was held out while the staff attempted to get him ready to play.
During the halftime break, Leipold told the ABC broadcast that Daniels was officially out for Saturday’s game. Leipold had previously labeled Daniels “questionable to doubtful” during an in-game interview.
The ABC broadcast also reported KU was “shocked to learn” of the back issue ahead of Saturday’s game.
In KU’s 48-17 win over Missouri State to open the year, Bean started and went 22-of-28 passing for 276 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
This time around, he struggled. Bean finished 9-of-21 passing for 136 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
“It’s tough, really tough,” Bean said of learning he’d be starting shortly before the game. “It’s just sometimes how life goes, and you’ve got to be ready to execute. ... There are a couple of plays I’d like to have back today.”
Leipold was asked if KU would’ve played better if Daniels had been healthy.
“I’m not going to speculate that,” Leipold said. “That’s not fair to Jason, its not fair to Jalon and honestly it’s not fair to this football team.”
Back tightness has been an issue for Daniels since early in fall camp.
Daniels’ back issue was first reported following an Aug. 7 practice. Daniels was present at the practice but didn’t take any reps during the portion open to media.
In subsequent updates, Leipold continued to state that Daniels was limited at practice, as the Jayhawks treated the injury with plenty of caution.
“We are giving him as much work as we can in many different ways,” Leipold said near the end of fall camp. “He’s been getting work and he’s been doing things. ...
“Unfortunately for him, it is something that he’s gone through a little bit before, getting mental reps and doing things (with) where he’s at. But I think we are in a really good spot.”
Bean threw for 970 passing yards and 10 touchdowns to three interceptions in 2022. He added three touchdowns on the ground. As a starter, Bean went 1-3 in 2022.