Should Texas Tech football fans be concerned about Behren Morton's shoulder?

The junior quarterback has been shut down for the rest of spring football to allow him time to rehab his right shoulder, which was injured last season.

UCF v Texas Tech
UCF v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Last season, Texas Tech football fans didn't get to see quarterback Behren Morton play a complete game in full health. Now, the junior's spring football season is also being impacted by the same injured right shoulder that rendered him a shell of his normal self for almost all of the 2023 campaign.

Wednesday, head coach Joey McGuire announced that his starting quarterback is being held out of the second half of the spring football session. The assumption is that this will allow him to continue to rehabilitate the shoulder that he sprained in the fourth game of last season at West Virginia.

McGuire's statement says that Morton will "resume full football activities later this summer". The statement also said that shutting down Morton for the spring will allow the backup QB options to get more reps in hopes that one will emerge as the clear-cut No. 2 on the depth chart.

The QB2 options are West Georgia transfer Cam Brown, sophomore Jake Strong, and true freshman Will Hammond. None of those players are proven options. What's more, fans now may be concerned that Morton's injured shoulder might just press one of those players into action as the starting QB at some point in 2024.

No one would blame Texas Tech fans for being concerned about a nagging injury to the program's starting QB. After all, the last time the program had a QB start 10 or more games in a season was Nic Shimonek in 2017.

What's more, Morton has had two injuries in his brief time as a Texas Tech Red Raider. In 2022, he sustained a high ankle sprain that forced him to be sidelined for several weeks after he was thrust into the starting role due to injuries to both Tyler Shough and Donovan Smith.

Now, the question is whether or not this latest injury will linger into this fall. When Morton initially sustained the injury in late September, the program said that the only remedy was rest, which wasn't an option during the season (though he did sit out the BYU game to let his shoulder heal).

In April, some six months after the injury, fans are now wondering if the severity is so great that rest won't be enough. Though there has been no word from the program about further medical procedures such as surgery, that is a possibility that exists in the back of many fans' minds.

It is a shame to see Morton miss this important spring practice time, as well. One reason why is that he is in his first offseason as the QB1. Thus, it would be ideal for him to be on the practice field acting as a leader for his team and learning what comes with that role.

Secondly, he would benefit from time to gel with new wide receivers Josh Kelly (a transfer from Washington State) and Caleb Douglas (a transfer from Florida). Those two players figure to be big parts of Tech's offensive attack in 2024 and the spring would be a great time for Morton to develop a rapport with them.

By the time fall camp rolls around, Morton will be more than ten months removed from the injury and hopefully that will be enough time for him to be back at 100%. That's because his health and effectiveness will be paramount to Texas Tech's success in the upcoming season.