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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 1, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Jake Locker out this week against Oregon, Price to start — UPDATED

Jake Locker will not play this week when the Huskies take on No. 1-ranked Oregon after his rib injury escalated into a break in Saturday’s game against Stanford.
Redshirt freshman Keith Price will start and Nick Montana will be the back, though receiver Cody Bruns and running back Jesse Callier, who each have some high school experience playing QB, will be emergency QBs with the hope to preserve Montana’s redshirt year.
UW coach Steve Sarkisian said Locker had a hairline fracture heading into the Stanford game but had been cleared to play. Locker had been said to have “sore” or “bruised” ribs for the past two weeks.
“The (medical) staff agreed that it was okay for him to play and we made that decision, a decision that is really made routinely week to week to week not just for a quarterback but for every player on our team,” Sarkisian said. “In this case the staff has made the recommendation to hold him out and get him healty. The goal is to have him healthy for our final three ball games.”
He denied that Locker had a broken rib last week and reiterated under questioning that Locker had been cleared to play in consultation with Locker and his parents.
“It went from a cartilage injury to a hairline fracture to now a crack in the rib,” Sarkisian said. “This has escalated into an injury more than just pain so we are dealing with it as such.”
The injury got worse when he took a couple big hits in the 41-0 loss to Stanford and he will be out this week with the hope that he can return for a Nov. 18 game against UCLA. He said he did not know exactly when the injury occurred against Stanford. Locker played into the fourth quarter, coming out only for the final series with the outcome long decided.
“He took a couple good shots that kind of escalated this thing to a whole ‘nother level for us,” Sarkisian said. “It’s unfortunate. I know Jake wants to be out there in the worst way but this is the right thing to do.”
Sarkisian said the rib injury happened initially against Oregon State and the first X-ray after that game did not show a break.
Locker met the media briefly and said he hopes to be back for the UCLA game.
“If I can be out there, I will,” Locker said Monday.
He will not practice this week and UW has a bye the following week before the UCLA Thursday night game.
As for Price, Sarkisian said that getting his first start at Autzen is “going to be a challenging one” but that “he’s made great strides and has a real confidence about him right now.”
Price has played in five games this season, completing 5-9 passes for 37 yards and a touchdown, that coming in the win at USC. A prototypical dual-threat type, Price also has rushed three times for 11 yards.
Sarkisian said that Montana would play only in the event of a “long-term issue,” surely meaning an injury to Price, but that the hope is that he will not have to play.
Sarkisian said the decision to sit Locker was not made due to the opponent or having a bye, but simply due to his health.
Locker said it was frustrating not to play but that he understood the decision.
“They said it’s the best thing for me and my health and I put my trust in those guys,” he said. “I have ever since I’ve been here and I still do and I don’t argue with the decision they made at all. But you just wish you could always be out there.”
The last time UW played the No. 1 team on the road it also went with a first-time starter at QB as Isaiah Stanback got the call against the Trojans in 2004, a game that turned into a 38-0 loss.
Locker said the injury had not impacted his recent performances, saying “it didn’t have anything to do with my play.”
More later.

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