The Huskies have three weeks of practice left before the season opens on September 1st against SDSU downtown at the Link. The big news and worry last week was injuries. One by one potential key contributors went down with an assortment of non contact injuries. The goal this week is stay healthy and get a number of those injured players back on the field contributing.
Say a little prayer for Ha'ouli Jamora who is getting his knee scoped this week. The hope is that it will just be a minor clean up procedure rather than something more ominous. If it is a minor clean up procedure he might be able to contribute some reps by the opener.
Lets take a closer look at five areas of concern heading into the week:
They were down to only seven healthy scholarship linebackers on Saturday. There is a lot of young potential at these positions and it is s shame that so many guys are out this early because they are missing some serious teaching time. Kearse, Zeger, and Lawyer need to take advantage of the absences and challenge for starting jobs.
Sark says the best eleven will play. Look for the further integration of Shaq Thompson into the defense as more of a hybrid rover type. I expect to see the Huskies playing in a nickel quite often next season to take advantage of all the talent they have at safety.
James Johnson doesn't have a history of bouncing back quickly from injuries. He is listed day to day with a sprained ankle. The Huskies need him back and healthy to start the season. There are flashier guys out there than Cody Bruns but expect him to play a significant role on a unit that could use some senior leadership. Kendyl Taylor and Jayden Mickens are getting some serious reps. Sark mentioned them as players who have a chance to contribute early.
The Kicking Game
Travis Coons and Corey Durkee have been impressing the coaches with their accuracy and leg strength. The days of kickoffs only reaching the five or ten yard line appear to be over. Both these kids can boom the ball and both have shown that they can hit the big kick in practice. Coons will be the placekicker when the season starts. Expect Durkee to concentrate on punting. Lots of new speed on the roster to help the return game. Mickens, Taylor, and Hall are all in the mix to return kicks this season.
The Offensive Line
Micah Hatchie and Ben Riva appear to be settling in at the tackle positions. The early experiment of moving Schaefer outside was scuttled when Eric Kohler's knee cap popped in and out. Shane Brostek continues to impress on the inside and could play himself into the rotation at guard. You really don't know what you have until these guys have played a game.
The Walking Wounded Report
The injury bug arrived with a dull thud at Montlake during the first week of fall camp. The Huskies are down to less than 70 healthy scholarship athletes as the second week of camp begins. Fortunately it appears that the majority of the injured will be back for the opener with only Cooper being declared out for the season at this point.
RB - Deontae Cooper torn ACL - out for the season for the third consecutive year
DE - Ha'ouli Jamora - knee - precautionary scope this week
SLB - Nate Fellner - broken foot - three to five weeks
SLB - Taz Stevenson - migraines - day to day
MLB - Thomas Tutogi - sprained knee - two weeks
OL - Erik Kohler - dislocated knee cap - two to three weeks
WIL - Princeton Fuimaono - pulled hamstring - day to day
OL - Shane Brostek - cast on his hand - has only made him more lethal to all around him
WR - Kevin Smith - recovering from torn ACL - day to day
WR - James Johnson - ankle - day to day
OL - Cory Fuiavi - achilles heel - day to day
MLB - Blake Rodgers - knee - day to day
MLB - Garret Gilliliand - retired from football
WiL - Matt Lyons - transfered to undisclosed school