First things first — QB Jake Locker took about the same amount of snaps as he would for a normal Wednesday practice, first in the rotation with backup Ronnie Fouch — and appeared to make it through just fine.
But UW coach Steve Sarkisian said he was still not ready to say Locker will start or play against UCLA Saturday.
Said Sarkisian: “I thought he moved better today. My big thing with all injuries, especially with something like this, is how they respond. We asked him to move a little more today than we did yesterday. The key for me is how he responds tomorrow. I’ll be able to make a better assessment Thursday in how he responded from today.”
Asked about Locker’s workload, he said it was “pretty much” the same as normal. “We put Ronnie in for a few more plays than normal, but for the most part, it was about the same.”
Asked if he was surprised by Jake’s ability to move around, he said “No. Like everything, I don’t try and make expectations based on hope. I just go with what I see and the facts. I don’t try and expect things in hoping for them. I kind of wait and see what they look like.”
Asked how his recovery is going, Sarkisian said: “He got through yesterday fine with a little bit of movement. He came back today and moved better, which was encouraging. We asked him to move more, he moved better. Now the key is going to be tomorrow to see how he responds.”
Asked if he still intends for it to be a game-time decision, he said: “I’d rather it not be. I’d rather, for the sake of our football team, to be able to make that decision so everyone know where we’re at, one way or another. If it comes to that, it comes to that.”
So does that mean a decision could come on Thursday? “Yeah, I’m hoping he just responds really well tomorrow, he’s able to really run around tomorrow. We haven’t asked him to do that yet. Hopefully tomorrow he can really get his movement going. … The big key is going to be tomorrow. Asked him to do more movement stuff today. The big key is how he responds to that tomorrow and then to really get out and run tomorrow.”
Now for some non-Locker news. …
— This seemed to be one of the more chippy practices of the season for the Huskies with a couple little minor scuffles breaking out. One involved Devin Aguilar and Desmond Trufant. After Trufant made a play on a pass to Aguilar, Aguilar caught a pass on a fade route over Trufant, who appeared to have grabbed his jersey en route. Aguilar did a lot of taunting — for which he drew a flag (as always, a few officials were working the practice) and there was a little pushing and shoving, though nothing serious. Asked about the sequence, Sarkisian said: “It was two great competitors and when you think about what those guys have accomplished this year they are two great competitors and neither of them likes to get beat, and I think Tru got the better of Devin on the first play and Devin came back and obviously made a play on the second play. They are good (with each other). That’s what great competitors do, they battle.”
— Asked about the overall edge to the practice, Sarkisian said: “I think the biggest thing was they got some time off. They got the four days off and they came back very refreshed to practice. We have practiced extremely well with high energy, high enthusiasm and it’s just guys playing hard and competing and having fun practicing.”
— Cameron Elisara again missed practice battling a stinger and is out for Saturday. That had the Huskies again using a line with Daniel Te’o-Nesheim at DT and Andru Pulu and Talia Crichton at ends. Sarkisian wouldn’t say that will be the starting lineup on the DL (with Alameda Ta’amu at the other DT) but it could be.Asked if DTN would start at DT, Sarkisian said: “I don’t know. He might play free safety.”
— WR Jordan Polk practiced and should be able to play Saturday. Said Sarkisian: “Jordan Polk: had a great practice. Good to get Jordan back. He’s recovered extremely well. Another guy I’m anxious to see tomorrow after coming back from today, just to watch him run around again tomorrow.” Polk hasn’t played since the Arizona game.
— OL Mykenna Ikehara remains out with a knee injury and there was some shuffling of the backups to add some flexibility if needed, Drew Schaefer getting some looks inside. Scott Shugert also got some extended time inside. Said Sarkisian: “Mykenna’s knee is not coming back as fast as we want it to. We’re shuffling some guys around to get ready, just in case some other injuries to do occur. We’re always trying a contingency plan.”
— Sarkisian revealed that true frosh DT Semisi Tokolahi has suffered a broken thumb. Said Sarkisian: “He’s a lot better today. He had the broken thumb deal. He got ready to have surgery on it last week after practice. And it’s healing pretty good, so he got some good work today.”
— E.J. Savannah won’t play this week but Sarkisian said again he could play next week. “I think he’ll have a better chance (vs. OSU). We’re just trying to let that hand heal a little bit. I feel for the guy, because he’s been through so much with the hand – three different breaks in three different places. I think it’s fair to him to let that thing, give it a week of not banging on it, and let that thing heal a little bit.”
— Safety Jason Wells continues to progress well and should also play Saturday, Sarkisian said: “Jason had a nice practice again today. His movement is getting better. He looks more comfortable. Not as timid as all as the first time around we tried to bring him back during training camp, I’m very encouraged what Jason is doing. He brings a lot of savvy, a lot of feel for the game back there. The only thing really holding him back was his movement, his ability to trust that he was healthy and he’s shown that the last couple days.”
— Asked to assess Anthony Boyles, Sarkisian said: “It’s always hard for a guy to just have one week of practice and then decide to play at corner, a brand new position. There are some things coverage wise that are challenging for him from checks to different techniques so I don’t think it would be fair to him to go out there and play every down. If there are some opportunities to play him we will but he is coming along fine. We’d be fools to expect him to make that transition in five days.”
— And of Alvin Logan’s switch to linebacker he said: “Same thing (as Boyles) He’s doing some nice things but again it’s a pretty tough transition in five days to make that transition from safety to linebacker and expect to know everything.”
All for now.