CARSON, Calif. – Baker Mayfield has a cold – or something like that – and it has become the biggest story in an otherwise quiet week leading up the Rose Bowl.
Oklahoma’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback was at practice Friday as the second-ranked Sooners prepare for the Rose Bowl semifinal of the College Football Playoff against No. 3 Georgia, but for the second time in three days he missed media availability.
School spokesman Michael Houck said Mayfield was not feeling well, but other than that there was no official word on his condition three days before the Sooners play the Bulldogs in Pasadena. The winner of the Rose Bowl advances to the Jan. 8 title game against either Clemson or Alabama.
A handful of Oklahoma offensive players and co-offensive coordinator Cale Gundy met with reporters Friday at a downtown Los Angeles hotel. As the starting quarterback, Mayfield was required by the CFP to be part of the media session, though in cases of injuries and illnesses exceptions are made.
The other Oklahoma players all toed the company line when asked about Mayfield.
“You’d have to talk to Coach (Lincoln) Riley tomorrow about that,” center Erick Wren said. “That’s not something I want to hit on today.”
Rose Bowl media day, when all the players and coaches from each team are made available to reporters, is Saturday.
Mayfield also did not make the Sooners’ trip to Disneyland on Wednesday. Riley was asked about Mayfield’s absence and condition, but left it at a decision to not bring the quarterback to amusement park.
Mayfield has been at practice every day.
On Friday, a warm and sunny day in Southern California, Mayfield was going through throwing drills with Oklahoma’s other quarterbacks during the 15-minute part of practice at Stub Hub Center, the temporary home of the Los Angeles Chargers, that was open to the media.
In shoulder pads, helmet and shorts, Mayfield zipped about a dozen passes to receivers before all the position groups convened for scrimmaging and the practice was closed. Mayfield chugged Gatorade and spoke briefly with Oklahoma trainers after throwing.
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