The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 6, 2008

Granger playing through the pain

DeMarcus Granger was at a crossroads in mid September.

The Oklahoma defensive tackle worked his way out the doghouse following his suspension from last season’s Fiesta Bowl. Then, two games and a little less than two quarters into the season, he felt a very sharp pain in his left foot during the Sooners’ Sept. 14 game at Washington.

Torn ligaments seriously threatened to put him back on the sidelines for the rest of the season and brought a choice. Undergo surgery and the injury would heal fine, but the season was over. He could play with the pain and wait until the end of the year to fix it.

“My first decision was not to get the surgery,” Granger said. “My mother and everybody else told me to go with my first gut feeling and that was my first gut feeling and I feel I made the right decision.”

It appears he did.

“He’s a guy that can take a lot of pain,” defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “He lives to play this game; it’s his life. There wasn’t any doubt he was going to do whatever he had to do get back as quickly as he could.”

It means playing with pain. Even though he returned against Texas, Granger was still on crutches most of the time. When he practiced, getting into a three-point stance caused a sharp pain to run through his foot. Extra running was ruled out to avoid the additional stress on the injury.

Still, he’s managed to be productive.

“He’s getting better and better,” OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. “He’s getting back to the kind of shape he wants to be in and needs to be in. Obviously he’s more than serviceable. He’s been playing well.”

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