Chris Petersen gave the media their first update of the season on player availability and a trio of Huskies will miss a varying amount of time. Both Azeem Victor and Austin Joyner were suspended for a violation of team rules. Victor will miss 1 game while Joyner will miss 2. It’s unknown what the violation entailed and it is unlikely that we ever find out given Petersen’s disdain for details in these situations.
In addition to Austin Joyner's suspension (2 games), senior LB Azeem Victor has been suspended for Friday's opener at Rutgers.— Adam Jude (@A_Jude) August 28, 2017
The loss of Azeem Victor is especially significant given that he is a preseason All-American in the eyes of many and his loss to a broken leg during the USC game was a significant blow to the team. The Huskies will need Azeem playing effectively all year to reach their potential. However, if UW can get by as a 4-touchdown favorite on Friday then it’s unlikely Azeem misses a beat.
That can’t be said for Austin Joyner; especially with the extra game missing. Joyner has been competing to start at corner during fall camp and this likely takes away any chance he had at securing a starting gig. If there’s one area where you want the Dawgs to be at full strength to start the year, it’s in the secondary where the team is replacing 3 starters and is relying on a bunch of youth to fill in the gaps. Any player missing the chance at experience is bad for down the road once the schedule toughens up.
Finally, David Ajamu will miss this season with a broken leg. This was to be Ajamu’s redshirt senior year so he will need to be granted a medical redshirt in order to see the field again for the Dawgs. It’s a disappointing end to his Husky career if he is unable to come back for another year or decides to move on. Ajamu primarily served as a blocking tight end and finished with just one reception for 4 yards while playing in 13 games last season. Pete’s announcement that Hunter Bryant will definitely play this year makes more sense following Ajamu’s injury as a significant amount of playing time has now opened up.
Adam Jude of the Seattle Times is also reporting that DJ Beavers sustained a foot injury in practice last month and will miss at least the first month of the season. Beavers was the primary replacement for Victor when he went down with the broken leg last year. Without either player, it leaves the linebacker depth extremely thin. Ben Burr-Kirven, Brandon Wellington, and perhaps Camilo Eifler may all see extended playing time on Friday to plug the hole.