Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty woke up Tuesday and started doing sit-ups in his bed.
Petty, who has two small, cracked bones in his back, also plans to be throwing passes for the 10th-ranked Bears in their next game Saturday night.
”I didn’t come back to sit again on the sidelines and watch. Every game is important and Northwestern State is important to me,” Petty said Tuesday. ”So I want to be out there. … I’ll be all right. We’ll be good.”
The reigning Big 12 offensive player of the year took a shot to the back on his first series of the season in a 45-0 win over SMU on Sunday night. Petty played only the first half, and was clearly in discomfort while throwing for 161 yards with two touchdowns. He also ran for a score to put Baylor up 31-0.
An MRI on Monday revealed two cracked transverse processes, which are small bones that stick out from each side of a vertebra.
”There’s not a whole lot you can do for it. It’s kind of like a pinkie finger, you’re not going to get surgery on it or anything like that,” Petty said during his weekly availability on the Waco campus. ”You just kind of brace it up and fight through it.”
Coach Art Briles said the Big 12 champion Bears will ”certainly monitor him and be intelligent” on their approach with Petty this week.
Briles said Petty won’t play if he’s not 100 percent. When asked about that, Petty smiled and said he’d be 100 percent, but acknowledged that the coach would have the final word.
”We understand it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint, and our goals are to win every football game,” Briles said. ”But at the end of the day, we want to win the Big 12 championship and we want to be in the final four (college football playoff), and we need Bryce Petty to do that.”
Two of Petty’s former teammates, tight end Jordan Najvar and linebacker Brody Trahan, had the same injury in the past. Trahan didn’t miss a game in 2012, and Najvar was out only one game last season.
”Each injury is kind of different, even though it’s kind of the same location,” Petty said. ”I know Najvar’s was probably a lot worse than mind, the other things that went with his injury.”
Petty said he wouldn’t push himself during practice this week, taking off some snaps ”here and there.” He will also continue to do rehab while trying to save every bit of energy he can for the game, the first of two in a row that the Bears have on a short week. After going from Sunday to Saturday this week, their third game is the following Friday.
”I’m going to be smart with it, but at the same time, you take a risk every time you get on the field,” he said. ”So it’s going to be no different, whether I’m in a little pain or not. … You can’t do anything worse to it. If it’s OK, if it’s bearable, I can deal with it.”