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.
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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.
No. 12 TCU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
11:30 a.m. Saturday, KDFW/Ch. 4