Utah’s football miseries took another serious turn for the worse last week, when tests done to diagnose a possible concussion on quarterback Travis Wilson revealed a pre-existing condition that will sideline him the rest of the season and leave his future in football in doubt.
The Salt Lake Tribune, quoting from coach Kyle Whittingham’s weekly press conference Monday, said Wilson was apparently injured during a run in the first quarter of Utah’s 20-19 loss to Arizona State Nov. 9. He played the rest of the game and apparently had no symptoms, but developed a headache the next day, and an angiogram detected the condition.
“He didn’t really have any symptoms directly after the game or during the game,” Whittingham said. “It wasn’t readily apparent that it was a concussion.
“He’s been declared not able to play (the rest of the season) and it could be career-ending. We’ll find out.”
The Utes, 4-6 overall, 1-6 in Pac-12 play and losers of four straight, visit Washington State Saturday in a game that will either get WSU (5-5) bowl-eligible, or sustain the chance of bowl-eligibility for Utah, which finishes at home with Colorado.
Last week on the Tuesday Pac-12 teleconference, Whittingham told reporters Wilson “still gives us our best chance to win. There’s no debating that at this point in time.” Wilson had struggled through problems with a hand injury that limited his effectiveness through several games.
With the 6-6 Wilson out and missing a trip to Oregon last week, backup Adam Schulz went 13 for 30 with an interception and a touchdown pass for 181 yards.
Wilson finishes the season with a 56-percent completion rate, 16 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions. Schulz is completing 46.7 percent, with two touchdowns and two interceptions, yielding a low 98.1 efficiency rating. He’s a 6-1, 205-pound, third-year sophomore from Muskego, [cq] Wis.
A key part of Wilson’s game was his running ability. He’s the second-leading Ute rusher with 386 net yards and a 4.8-yard average.
Utah has been plagued in recent years by quarterback injuries. Wilson gained the starting job a year ago after veteran Jordan Wynn was forced to retire because of shoulder problems.