The cold, Cozart, and concussions

Originally posted on Rock Chalk Blog November 21, 2013.

One thing is for certain: it’s going to be a brisk evening in Ames on Saturday.  The weather channel has a high of 24 during the day with a low of nine (yes, single digits). That isn’t taking into account the wind chill that will be associated with the north-northwest winds that will be blowing steady around 17 miles per hour.

Weis said that he discussed the weather situation with the players after Tuesday’s practice and that’s the end of the conversation. He doesn’t want to hear the players complaining about the weather. Kansas hasn’t played in frigid temperatures yet this season, which is fortunate for the Jayhawks, until now.

The weather isn’t the only change this week for the Kansas squad. Freshman Montell Cozart was listed at the top of the depth chart in the quarterback position. This came as no surprise, considering he took every snap in last week’s victory over West Virginia, leaving junior Jake Heaps on the sideline.

“Jake—how he has handled Montell has been one of the biggest blessings we’ve dealt with,” Weis said.

Unfortunately, there’s another change, but something that Kansas has known well. Tony Pierson, the star receiver for the Jayhawks, has already missed four games this season and he’s could miss more. He has had signs of concussion three times during the season.

“In the age of concussions, somebody has to make a stand,” Weis said, remarking on why Pierson wasn’t listed on the depth chart this week.

“The best thing for Tony’s health, therefore the right thing to do, instead of coming out and putting him down on the depth chart… at the end of the day, the right thing for me and the training staff to sit there and say ‘Tony, you might be able to go, but you’re sitting down the next two weeks. We’re going to make sure this head of yours clears up,’” Weis elaborated.

Unfortunately for Kansas, Pierson will be doubtful to return on the field for the last two games of the season. Which will give him plenty of time to recover for spring ball.

Playing Pierson in these next two games could be risking something much more than the game of football; it would be risking Pierson’s health in the future.

“If really want to practice what we preach, instead of being hypocritical, I think that we have to be the trendsetters. It’s tough now, you’re losing football games and one of your best players. Maybe he can go, maybe he can’t go, but really for what? What do you gain and at what risk?” Weis noted.

It’s true. Kansas is definitely going to not be at their best without Pierson, but luckily for them, the men behind him have had their fair share of repetitions.

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