The Huskies are off the field after another brisk practice — both in terms of the weather and length. Washington worked about 1:40 or so as the coaches try to keep the team fresh after a long season.
The notable personnel news is that the Huskies were again without center Ryan Tolar and DT Cameron Elisara.
Tolar has not practiced all week with what was originally described as a headache. But after further tests, doctors have determined Tolar is suffering the effects of having taken a hit at some point in Saturday’s game against WSU.
“We come to find out he got dinged Saturday and that’s why he wasn’t feeling well,” said UW coach Steve Sarkisian. “So we’re just trying to take the proper precations. If he’s able to play Saturday he’s able to play. But we’re not going to push him back out there if he’s not ready.”
Sarkisian said Tolar will be assessed the next two days to determine if he can play. If he can’t play, Mykenna Ikehara will get his first start at center. Ikehara has been taking most of the reps with the ones at center the last two days. The redshirt freshman has been struggling with a sore knee the last few weeks but is healthy now, Sarkisian said.
“it’s a great opportunity for Mykenna,” Sarkisian said. “He’s finally gotten healthy after his knee being sore and beat up and now he’s getting his opportunity. It’s good for us in a way that he’s getting all these reps this week and if he plays Saturday, that’s great. I’d rather know now than come Friday and have to throw him in.”
Sarkisian said Elisara is battling a sore shoulder and not really the stinger, which has bothered him previously. He said he thinks it’s the result of suddenly taking a lot of hits after having been out for almost a month. Elisara will also be examined again the next few days to see if he can play. Alameda Ta’amu is back in the starting lineup alongside Everrette Thompson with Elisara ailing.
Also, TB Chris Polk and S Victor Aiyewa continue to wear red but it’s for precautionary reasons and each did all the team drills and will play Saturday.
Otherwise, Sarkisian said the team is healthy, and he liked the way the players practiced Wednesday saying they were “energized.”
The Cal game is obviously the last of the season for the Huskies, and as such, the last of the career for the team’s 15 seniors.
We talked for a little while after practice today with one of those seniors, fullback Paul Homer, who said it’s beginning to dawn on him that this is it for his football career.
“I think about it a lot,” he said. “And I’ve always kind of dreaded this day, seeing past Senior Days the past three years. It actually reallly hit me pretty hard today when I was just walking to class. Out of nowhere I was just really bummed, I don’t want to leave, but the NCAA only gives you four years to play.”
He said Saturday could be even rougher.
“It’s probably going to be very emotional,” he said. “I’ve invested a lot in this place. It’s been a trip. Your college years affect the rest of your live and you really grow in college as a person and football has been a huge part of that, and these guys on the team, the guys in the past and the guys now. To have to leave is going to be tough.”
PROGRAMMING NOTE — I had planned a live chat for Thursday at noon but I see we have a couple of others scheduled for that time slot. So I think I’ll do it Thursday at 2 p.m.
Also, if you haven’t seen the promos, we will have UW AD Scott Woodward for a live chat Friday at noon.