E.J. Savannah may miss start of UW's season
The Washington Huskies may have to open the season without their leading tackler of a year ago after linebacker E. J. Savannah suffered a broken...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Rocky SavannahINJURIES AND OTHER ISSUES HAVE CLOUDED E.J. SAVANNAH'S UW CAREER:
2005: Missed season with neck stingers (pinched nerves).
2006: Missed three games with broken hand.
2007: Lost starting spot in fall camp with academic issue.
April 2008: Moved out of two-deeps in spring for missing offseason workouts.
June 2008: May miss first two games with broken arm.
The Washington Huskies may have to open the season without their leading tackler of a year ago after linebacker E.J. Savannah suffered a broken bone in his left arm Saturday.
The injury could keep Savannah sidelined for two to three months, meaning he might miss the first few games of UW's season, which opens Aug. 30 at Oregon.
A source said Savannah suffered the injury while arm-wrestling, though the team said officially that he was injured in a non-football-related incident. Savannah broke his humerus, the long bone that runs from the shoulder to the elbow.
Savannah, a junior out of Bellevue High School, led Washington with 111 tackles last season from his outside linebacker position.
His loss for even a game or two could be a big blow for a Huskies team that faces a tough early schedule in what looms as a make-or-break season for coach Tyrone Willingham. After the Oregon game, UW hosts Brigham Young and Oklahoma, each likely to be highly ranked.
This is the latest twist in what has been an often rocky road for Savannah at Washington.
He sat out his first year in 2005 while recovering from neck stingers (pinched nerves) suffered in high school that threatened to end his career. After returning, he suffered a broken hand in 2006 that caused him to miss three games.
After earning a starting job in the spring of 2007, he was relegated to backup status during most of fall camp while waiting for an academic issue to clear up. He came back to rank sixth in the conference in tackles last fall, but was not on the official two-deep for the beginning of spring practice for what he said later was failing to attend all offseason workouts.
He was reinstated midway through the spring and led the Huskies in the spring game with eight tackles. Savannah figures to be at the center of the plans of new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell to rework Washington's defense. Donatell has said he might use some 3-4 schemes to take advantage of the team's depth at linebacker.
But losing Savannah would cut into that depth for a while. Savannah was replaced in the early part of spring drills by walk-on Joshua Gage. Senior Chris Stevens and sophomore Matt Houston could also be replacements for Savannah; sophomore Mason Foster started at the other outside spot during the spring.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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