Locker practices, but not yet cleared to play
When the Huskies resumed their preparation Saturday night for the game against the Bruins, Locker was in uniform and practicing — the strongest indication yet that he may be able to play against UCLA.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Washington quarterback Jake Locker has yet to be cleared by doctors to play Thursday night against UCLA.
But when the Huskies resumed their preparation Saturday night for the game against the Bruins, Locker was in uniform and practicing — the strongest indication yet that he may be able to play against UCLA.
It was the first time he had done any football activity since the game against Stanford Oct. 30.
After that game, it was revealed that he had a broken rib and would not play the following week against Oregon, with it left uncertain when he would return. He did not participate during three practices last week.
After Saturday's practice, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said he could not say definitively whether Locker will play against the Bruins, but added that it was "encouraging" that Locker was practicing.
"I thought he moved around OK," Sarkisian said. "We will just have to take it day by day to assess how he responds from one day to the next. I'm not going to make any grand statements as far as 'is he playing, is he not.' We just need to assess it here for a couple days."
Sarkisian said that it could be a "game-time" decision whether Locker plays, and that it was possible Locker wouldn't be medically cleared until right before kickoff, if he is cleared.
But Sarkisian said of Locker's rib that "it is definitely healing. It is not 100 percent yet, so that's why we are going to take it day by day to see where he is at."
Sarkisian added that the doctors "are very encouraged where he is at."
When the No. 1 offense worked against the defensive scout team, Locker took 14 of the 21 snaps. Keith Price, who started at quarterback in the 53-16 loss to Oregon last Saturday, took the rest.
Locker, however, sat out the team period — a session when getting hit is a little more common — with Price and Nick Montana taking all the snaps.
But simply practicing was a big step as Sarkisian had said last Monday that Locker would need to practice to have a chance to play against the Bruins.
And with it being the last home game of Locker's UW career — and a must-win for the Huskies to stay alive in the bowl hunt — keeping Locker off the field figures to be hard.
"I think so," Sarkisian said. "Any time it's Senior Night, those things have a tendency to get emotional and either way — whether he is playing or he is not — it's going to be an emotional night."
Locker started UW's first nine games of the season but suffered a thigh bruise against Arizona State on Oct. 9, then suffered the first of his rib injuries the following week against Oregon State, an injury that got progressively worse the next two weeks. He practiced sparingly the next two weeks before being declared out following the Stanford game.
• Defensive end Talia Crichton, out since the Oregon State game with a knee injury, did not practice and will not play against UCLA, Sarkisian said. "It's just not coming back the way we were hoping," Sarkisian said. "We are not going to rush him. We want to make sure he is healthy before he gets back out."
• Also still not cleared to play is reserve safety Justin Glenn, who suffered a concussion against Oregon.
• With the UCLA game being on Thursday night, UW's practice schedule is moved up two days, so the Saturday practice replicated what the team usually does on a Monday. UW will practice again Sunday afternoon at Husky Stadium.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com
|Sept. 4||BYU 23, UW 17|
|Sept. 11||UW 41, Syracuse 20|
|Sept. 18||Nebraska 56, UW 21|
|Oct. 2||UW 32, USC 31|
|Oct. 9||Arizona St. 24, UW 14|
|Oct. 16||UW 35, OSU 34 (2OT)|
|Oct. 23||Arizona 44, UW 14|
|Oct. 30||Stanford 41, UW 0|
|Nov. 6||Oregon 53, UW 16|
|Nov. 27||@ California|
|Dec. 4||@ WSU|
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