TCU

TCU leading tackler, safety should be ready for Big 12 championship game

TCU linebacker Travin Howard completes a takedown of Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender for one of the Horned Frogs’ four sacks in a 43-0 victory on Oct. 21 at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
TCU linebacker Travin Howard completes a takedown of Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender for one of the Horned Frogs’ four sacks in a 43-0 victory on Oct. 21 at Amon G. Carter Stadium. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

TCU will likely have linebacker Travin Howard and safety Niko Small available for the Big 12 championship game, coach Gary Patterson said Monday on a conference call with reporters.

Both players have missed two games because of injuries.

Howard, the Horned Frogs’ leading tackler, made the trip to Texas Tech two weeks ago but did not play because of an ankle injury, then dressed for the Baylor game last week but did not play. Small was not available for either game because of a concussion.

“We’ll get Niko back, we’ll get Travin back, it looks like,” Patterson said.

TCU and Baylor players were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after they left the bench during a game on Nov. 24 at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Backup linebackers Sammy Douglas and Arico Evans have had strong games partnering with Ty Summers. Douglas led the team in tackles against Texas Tech, while Evans was second in the game. They have combined for 24 tackles in the two games.

Reserve safety Markell Simmons recorded eight tackles and an interception in the two games without Small, despite not practicing either week, Patterson said.

TCU is already bracing to play the first half of Saturday’s game against Oklahoma without safety Nick Orr because of a suspension for throwing punches in a fight during the Baylor game.

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez

No. 12 TCU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

11:30 a.m. Saturday, KDFW/Ch. 4

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