Kansas coach Lance Leipold ‘optimistic’ QB Jason Bean can play in Sunflower Showdown

Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

University of Kansas quarterback Jason Bean, who exited Saturday’s home game against Texas Tech due to a head injury, didn’t practice on Sunday.

On Monday, KU coach Lance Leipold provided an update on Bean’s status heading into Saturday’s Sunflower Showdown.

“I’m not going to get into the nature of injuries in-depth, but he did not practice last night,” Lance Leipold said. ”But my latest (stance) is I’m very optimistic that he’ll be playing on Saturday.”

KU’s third-string freshman walk-on quarterback Cole Ballard took over for Bean after his injury. The Indiana native completed nine of 20 pass attempts for 124 yards and one interception vs. Texas Tech.

According to Leipold, if Bean cannot play, Ballard will be the starter and either Ben Easters or Mikey Pauley will be his backup vs. K-State.

The Jayhawks have faced injury issues at quarterback throughout the season. Starter Jalon Daniels has missed KU’s last six games due to a back injury. Daniels has only played in three games this season.

Two weeks ago, Daniels didn’t travel with KU to their game vs. Iowa State.

“We made a decision — he didn’t practice during the week and it’s best we gave him a chance (to rest),” Leipold said after that game. “This is a bus trip for us, all those things and where he’s at. “Through the advice of our medical people, (they said) it was in the best interest of him (to stay home).”

Bean’s started all seven of the games that Daniels has missed. He has thrown for 1431 yards in his seven starts with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Bean has led KU to a 4-3 record in Daniels’ absence.