So, now we know for sure.
An injury that many speculated about and had been rumored about since October was finally confirmed today as UW announced that record-setting QB Jake Browning has undergone a surgical procedure on this throwing shoulder.
The exact nature of the injury was not disclosed. There is speculation that the surgery may have been to repair damage to his labrum. This is unconfirmed.
The beat reporters will no doubt follow this story closely over the next few weeks. This revelation begs several questions that fans will certainly want to debate:
- When did the injury occur?
- Was the injury related to wear and tear or to a sudden collision?
- Was replacing Browning with KJ Carta-Samuels ever on the table as a decision?
- Does the surgery put Browning’s participation in spring camp in jeopardy?
Regardless, the presence of a severe enough injury to require surgery certainly puts into context the decline in performance that we saw out of the QB position over the season’s final half. While “arm strength” remains an issue for Browning, the injury certainly explains why he may not have been able to make some of the throws that he would normally make - particularly some of the mid-range stuff that seemed to go so haywire in the latter part of the season - in addition to his lack of productivity while under pressure (the so called “panicking” that many observed towards the end of the season).
If the injury is, indeed, a labrum, the prognosis for Browning remains to be seen. These are generally considered serious injuries that have mixed results when repaired surgically. That Browning was able to play through the pain and is still very young bodes well. Obviously, we all wish him a speedy recovery.