Texas A&M’s Jaylen Henderson hurt on 1st play in Texas Bowl loss


Already short-handed, Texas A&M lost starting quarterback Jaylen Henderson to an injury on the first play of Wednesday night’s 31-23 loss to Oklahoma State in the TaxAct Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Henderson jumped to avoid Oklahoma State’s Cameron Epps after completing his first pass for 11 yards, but Epps hit his legs and Henderson fell hard on his right arm. He was taken directly to the locker room and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

Henderson later returned to the sideline wearing a sling on his right arm. Details of his injury were not revealed after the game.

Henderson was replaced by Marcel Reed, a 6-2, 180-pound freshman who was the No. 175 player in the 2023 ESPN 300. Reed, who had attempted three passes all season coming into the game, finished 20 of 33 for 361 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 29 yards and a score.

Interim coach Elijah Robinson praised his team’s resilience after losing Henderson so early in the contest.

“I think the mindset for our team was to say, ‘What’s next?’ and respond,” he said. “For the most part, those guys rallied around [Reed] and tried to make him feel comfortable.”

Henderson, a 6-3, 220-pound sophomore, began the season as the third-stringer but was thrust into the starting role when starter Conner Weigman was lost for the season and backup Max Johnson was injured. Johnson has since transferred to North Carolina.

The Aggies played with just three scholarship wide receivers. Leading receiver Ainias Smith was out with a broken finger, second-leading receiver Evan Stewart entered the transfer portal and Noah Thomas, who had 29 catches this year, was also out with injury.

The Aggies were led by Robinson, who replaced Jimbo Fisher when he was fired on Nov. 12. Robinson has already accepted the defensive coordinator job on Fran Brown’s staff at Syracuse. Offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino departed for Arkansas after the end of the regular season, so tight ends coach James Coley called plays.

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