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University of Kansas Jayhawks News: What's Going On With Jalon Daniels's Back?

University of Kansas Jayhawks starting quarterback Jalon Daniels's health has been in question since the middle of the season last year. After a throwing shoulder injury cost him about half of the 2022 season, now it's his back that is giving him problems, and in turn, giving the Kansas Jayhawks problems with direction. After their best season since 2008 came to a close, it was clear this was a new era for the Kansas Jayhawks football program. Years of ineptitude stifled this program for over a decade, and with the hire of head coach Lance Leipold and Athletic Director Travis Goff, as well as the emergence of Jalon Daniels, this program has new life injected into it. This team, when fully healthy, can compete with the best of the Big 12 and has shown they're a real contender. However, in lies the issue, their star quarterback can't seem to stay healthy. Not only that, but the Kansas program hasn't been entirely transparent as to what exactly is going on. Let's explore...

The Injury:

Daniels tweaked his back around August 7th, when it was reported that Daniels was present at the practice but did not take any reps, per the Kansas City Star's Shreyas Laddha. Daniels would miss the season opener against Missouri State but would come back for week 2 against Illinois, where he put up 277 yards on 21/29 passing and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed for 24 yards on 11 attempts. He would then go on to start the next two games against Nevada and BYU, going 21/27 for 298 and 0 touchdowns and 14/19 for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns, respectively. He would also rush for 50 yards during that two-game stretch. On September 30th, Daniels was slated to start against #2 Texas in what would be their first test against a ranked opponent in hostile territory. Having him would be imperative to the Jayhawk's success, however about an hour before game time Daniels was announced as out citing a back injury. The Jayhawks would have to go with their contingency plan in starting backup Jason Bean and would go on to lose big 40-14. Head coach Lance Leipold had said that he had reaggravated the injury during the hotel walkthrough, per the Kansas City Star's Laddha. Daniels is not projected to start in this coming weekend's contest versus the UCF Knights.

The Rumors and the Transparency (Or Lack Thereof...)

With the short notice of Daniels's availability this past weekend, rumors started circulating that Daniels was sitting out this game with intent to see what Lance Leipold would be doing over the next few weeks. Leipold's name has been mentioned in talks of who will be Michigan State's new head coach, and rumors said that Daniels would follow Leipold to Lansing if he takes the job. Others would speculate that Daniels is playing "soft" or that Daniels is being a prima donna. These rumors were somewhat dispelled by Kansas insiders such as Bryson Stricker and Mike Vernon, however, that doesn't mean it was all good news. Stricker would come out with a statement on October 2nd detailing what he knew regarding the situation. "A big problem I've had with the handling of JD's injury is the lies about his participation that came out. They (The Kansas football program) were acting as if JD was good to go at practice when he was hardly participating at all...I do have my own personal fears that it could linger for a short time or something similar to last time." Stricker explained. You can read the full statement below:

University of Kansas Comments:

In lies the issue though, as Stricker said. The University of Kansas football program has allegedly pretended that Jalon Daniels doesn't have a nagging injury for one reason or another. They haven't been transparent regarding questions about the injury, as Stricker said, basically full-on lying about his availability. Not only that, but many believe KU media hasn't given them the hardball questions to make the program engage. "This Jalon Daniels situation is very, very odd to me. What is really going on? How did the injury come back?" X user and Jayhawks blogger JayhawkFocus questioned.

Simply put, as of now, Kansas "was shocked" to learn about the reaggravation and list him as "day-to-day" per multiple interviews with head coach Lance Leipold. However, could this have been prevented? Do we know the severity of the injury? Why lie about his availability at the beginning of the season? It could have a lot to do with the nature of the injury, back injuries are unpredictable and could result in serious consequences if treated improperly, so Kansas could very well just be playing it day by day and judging it based on how Jalon feels. Why not just state that though then, instead of beating around the bush until now? Kansas's handling of the situation could have been better, but as of now, they're giving what they know. In the end, as "fun" as speculating is, nobody knows the health of Jalon Daniels better than Jalon himself. It's his decision whether he wants to play or not, Kansas can survive their next two games without him. However, with everything going on regarding this injury, it certainly is easy to speculate and easy to ask questions that haven't totally been answered yet. Only time will tell where this situation goes but in the end, Jalon Daniels's health comes first. A young man is hurt and hoping for health and healing is the best thing one can do...


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