Jake Locker still uncertain for next game
The Husky quarterback, who has a broken rib, will need clearance from doctors and will have to practice before being allowed to play against UCLA on Nov. 18.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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When ESPN agreed to televise Washington's Nov. 18 football date with UCLA at Husky Stadium, one of the great appeals was that it would be the last home game for UW quarterback Jake Locker.
Whether Locker will play, however, is still uncertain, coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday.
The Huskies, who won't play this weekend, practiced Monday and will also work out Tuesday and Wednesday before taking a couple days off. Sarkisian said it won't be until Saturday at the earliest — when UW will begin its normal game-week preparation for the Thursday night game — that Locker might return.
Sarkisian said there has not been an updated X-ray on Locker since it was announced a week ago he would miss the Oregon game with a broken rib. He said Locker's condition will be reviewed by Saturday.
"If the doctors give him the clearance to play, we'll assess how he looks as we get prepared for the ballgame," Sarkisian said. "If they deem him out, or rule him out, then we'll go forward with Keith Price."
And Sarkisian said it needs to be clear to his team that success doesn't rest solely on having Locker return.
"I think that we could make a mistake here of putting all of our eggs in Jake Locker's basket," he said. "That's not what the point of all of this is about. If we get Jake back, that's great. But if we don't, that doesn't mean we can't win the game. And if we do, that doesn't mean we automatically win the game."
Sarkisian said Locker will have to practice to play, saying, "I'm not going to put him on the field if he hasn't practiced. That's going to be critical as we get into Saturday, Sunday, Monday, of where he's at and how much he can do."
Price, meanwhile, only heightened the confidence the coaching staff has in his ability in the Huskies' 53-16 loss to the Ducks on Saturday, the first career start for the redshirt freshman.
While UW was beaten and Price didn't put up huge stats (14 of 28, 127 yards, one touchdown) he managed the game well, committing no turnovers, and didn't get a lot of help from his receivers, who dropped at least four passes.
"I thought he handled himself really well," Sarkisian said. "He looked composed. We didn't have a bunch of missed calls and different things, alignment things, where he was struggling in the huddle. We took a couple of delay-of-games late in the game, which was a little out of the norm because I thought early in the ballgame he had real command. I thought he made some nice throws for us.
"In a perfect world he will calm down, settle down more in the pocket and get to more secondary reads in his progression. And then I think in a perfect world we catch a few more balls for him to make his day a little easier, as well. But all in all, if you had told me that would be his first ballgame in Autzen Stadium against the No. 1 team in the country, I'd take it."
• Sarkisian said the UW career of DL Cameron Elisara is likely over due to a recurring stinger injury aggravated in the game at Arizona on Oct. 23. He hasn't played since, and Sarkisian said strength in the area is not coming back as hoped.
• Sarkisian said many regulars will rest during the three practices this week, which will also allow more practice time for younger players.
• Sarkisian said DE Talia Crichton, out since the Oct. 16 game against Oregon State with a knee injury, could be back this week.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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