Top prospect Ed Oliver to skip bowl game, prepare for NFL draft

John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Oliver won’t be playing when the Houston Cougars finish out their season with a bowl game this December, according to a report.

The potential top-five pick will instead rehab his ailing knee and prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft, per ESPN’s Edward Aschoff.

Shortly after this report, Oliver himself confirmed it.

In no way is this a surprising development, despite the fact that Oliver recently said his intention was to play in the team’s bowl game and that head coach Major Applewhite expected him to do so.

The junior defensive lineman was unable to finish out the regular season on the field after suffering a setback to his knee injury. He spent the second half of the team’s final game on the sideline in emotional distress after aggravating the injury.

Given the fact that he’s expected to be one of the top defenders taken in the coming draft, it makes perfect sense for Oliver to look to his future. If he were to be injured in the bowl game, then he’s potentially be missing out on millions of guaranteed dollars.