Washington running back Chris Polk sat out practice at Husky Stadium this afternoon, and afterward we found out why as UW coach Steve Sarkisian announced that the junior had arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus injury on Thursday morning.
That may inspire panic among UW fans, but Sarkisian cautioned that Polk could be back soon and that it was better to have the surgery now than later — Polk was not on crutches and walked around the field under his own power.
Sarkisian said that Polk could be sidelined for “potentially a couple of weeks” but that “I think he will be back in no time.”
Asked if Polk might miss the opener against Eastern Washington on Sept. 3 — a game now just 16 days away — Sarkisian said “potentially” but that “we don’t know. It depends on his body and how he recovers. But I think for the long haul of this thing it was the right thing to do.”
Sarkisian said Polk “tweaked” his knee in practice on Wednesday night.
“We went in this morning just to clean up a little bit of a meniscis thing in there,” Sarkisian said. “It’s not serious but I just didn’t want it to linger and I thought the doctors handled it really well, and let’s just do it now so we are not dealing with this thing come October, November. It potentially could be a couple of weeks but I think he already feels good about it.”
Sarkisian said it was unclear when Polk was injured. “I don’t know if it kind of lingered on him and it was one cut or not, but he knew near the end of practice that this just doesn’t feel right, something isn’t feeling right. So they put a sleeve on him, and he probably could have kept playing. But when we got done we said ‘let’s go in and take a look at this thing’ and it (surgery) was the right thing to do.”
Sophomore Jesse Callier took the snaps at tailback with the No. 1 offense in Thursday’s practice, with Johri Fogerson and true freshman Bishop Sankey next in line.
“Oh sure, we are going to miss him,” Sarkisian said of Polk, who rushed for 1,415 yards last season. “We’re talking about a tremendous player — and his impact on practice, too. He’s a tremendous practice player. But this is a great opportunity for Jesse and Johri and Bishop and those guys to get a few more carries so that we can gather more information on them.”
This might increase the chances that Sankey, a true freshman from Spokane, will play this season, but Sarkisian said it was too early to say yet.
He said he feels comfortable with the trio of backs behind Polk (and remember that Deontae Cooper is already out for the season with an ACL injury).
“They have done nothing to tell me I shouldn’t feel comfortable with them,” Sarkisian said.
He has been particularly effusive in praise the last few days of Fogerson.
“I think he has had a nice training camp,” Sarkisian said. “He has done some things obviously not just running the ball but on special teams. I think his pass protection has gotten better and I think he has brought a real serious attitude to this training camp. I’ve appreciated what he has done.”
I’ll have more from practice a little later.