SAN ANTONIO — The good news for UTSA football fans is that sophomore quarterback Frank Harris, who was injured early in Saturday's Conference USA opener against North Texas, was at practice Tuesday.
The bad news? Harris did not take part in the workout, and Roadrunners coach Frank Wilson said afterward that Harris' status beyond this week remains uncertain, pending more exams.
UTSA (1-3) has a bye this week.
"If we were playing this Saturday, he would be out," Wilson said. "The bye helps us and gives us some time. We'll just see."
Harris took only two snaps in UTSA's 45-3 loss to the Mean Green in Denton on Saturday before going to the bench and missing the rest of the game. Wilson did not disclose the nature of the injury on Monday, but Harris held his right arm as he walked off the field. Harris throws left-handed.
Wilson did confirm that it was the same injury that knocked Harris out of the Sept. 14 game against Army for two plays. Harris returned to action and took every UTSA snap but one the rest of the way in the Roadrunners' 31-13 loss.
"Frank Harris went to the doctor to get some imaging," Wilson said. "We're going to look at it over the next week, and kind of gauge his potential from a rehabilitation standpoint. Right now, his status is uncertain. We're not sure.
"Will he be back next week or will he be back the following (week), or what have you? So we'll play it by ear for the next five days and try to gauge exactly where he's at."
Wilson had good news about another injured UTSA player, junior tight end Leroy Watson, who was carted off the field Saturday night after getting hurt late in the game.
"Leroy Watson, thank God, is healthy," Wilson said, adding that Watson had a "stinger" in his neck-shoulder area. "We had concerns at the game because of the sensations he was feeling at that time. He was back out there today. We're limiting the things he does, but anticipate having him for next week."
The Roadrunners have lost three in a row after routing Incarnate Word 35-7 in their opener. UTSA has been outscored 139-30 during its skid.
The Roadrunners, who were blown out by Baylor 63-14 a week after dominating UIW, return to action at UTEP on Oct. 5.
Wilson acknowledged that Harris' injury was a tough psychological blow to cope with during the game. "When it happened, I thought the team was a little shocked," he said. "You've invested a lot. You've gone with a guy and declared him as your quarterback, and he goes down early in the first quarter . . . You've got to continue with the game and that's tough. That was a tough one for us to overcome.
"The reality is we're a team, we're a family. There's an old quote that says, 'My head is bloodied, but unbowed.' That kind of is our status right now. We've gone through a rough fore. Got some licks, got some bumps and some bruises. There may be a blood drop here and there, but chins are up, heads are up. And we push forward, march on."
A 2017 Clemens High School graduate, Harris battled back from two knee injuries to finally make his college debut in last month's season opener. Harris has been UTSA's starting quarterback since the start of the season.
"The bye week comes at a good time for him," Wilson said. "We'll see how his body takes to the medication and the rehabilitation, and we'll go from there."
Wilson declined to speculate on how long Harris could be out, if he's sidelined at all. "It would be premature to answer that until I know more from the doctors, and see how his body reacts," Wilson said.
Asked if the injury was a carryover from the one he sustained against Army, Wilson said: "Yeah, yeah, a little carryover. It wasn't a violent lick at all . . . just something that has been reoccurring. We'll see if we can manage it and allow him to continue."
Sophomore Lowell Narcisse replaced Harris at quarterback Saturday and completed 16 of 36 passes, with two interceptions, for 124 yards. Senior Cordale Grundy also played briefly, completing 1 of 4 attempts for four yards.
"I"m always tough on myself," Narcisse said. "I felt I could have played a lot better than what I played. Obviously, we can't turn the ball over four times. We've got to come out and execute more."
Wilson had some good things to say about Narcisse.
"He played hard," Wilson said. "He's a big man (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) with an able body that can run. In reality, that was his first Division I game. I thought he did an admirable job. I thought there were opportunities where we could have helped him. He'll continue to get better as we get better as a team."
North Texas outgained UTSA 501-295 in total offensive yardage, finishing with 290 yards rushing and 211 passing. The Mean Green averaged 6.6 yards per rushing attempt. The Roadrunners coughed up four turnovers – two interceptions and two fumbles – that North Texas converted into 28 points.
With Harris' status uncertain, Narcisse, Grundy, senior Brandon Garza and freshman Jordan Weeks all will get extra work with the first-team offense, Wilson sad. Grundy started nine games last season, completing 111 of 220 passes for 989 yards and five touchdowns.
"You just don't know . . . don't know how it'll shake out," Wilson said. "Potentially, all of those guys are the next guy, or the guy after the next guy that could be in."
Sophomore wide receiver Sheldon Jones talked about how tough it was to see Harris leave the game Saturday.
"Whenever a player goes down, it's our friend," Jones said. "We're with him every day. When it happened, we were a little sad and a little down. That's still our quarterback, the leader of our team. We're a little down.
"Right now the feeling on our team, we've got to bring it up. We're going to have our spirits up. We've got to get through it and we've got to work hard this bye week to get to where we want, a 'W.'"