And just like that the Frankenstein’s monster that was the 2020 football season has come to an end as Jen Cohen announced that the Huskies will not be accepting a bowl game bid due to the continued prevalence of COVID-19 among the team. The Husky season ends with the Dawgs finishing 3-1 and officially Pac-12 North champions but without the opportunity to back up that finish.
On Wednesday the school announced that 25 members of UW athletics had an active case of the virus and while the exact totals are not known, it is expected that the majority of those are within the football program. On Monday Jimmy Lake stated that Washington had 0 members of its O-line available due to either positive tests or contact tracing. The entire team paused practice last Thursday and were placed in quarantine either that same day or over the weekend.
Doing the math, a 14-day quarantine put in place last Thursday would have meant the soonest the team could have returned to practice would have been next Thursday the 24th. The bowl options left for the Huskies take place on the 29th and 31st so the absolute best-case scenario would’ve been returning to practice on Christmas Eve, practicing for 5 days after a 2-week break including on Christmas day, then traveling to play the Big-12 runner-up. It’s not surprising that such an option was not exactly appealing as much as I’m sure the team wants to play
With the season officially ended it means we can reflect on several things. Unfortunately, the careers of several Huskies have officially come to a close even if we don’t know who that full list is quite yet. Elijah Molden and Keith Taylor have both stated they will not be returning and so both senior DBs will move on. Particular shout outs are due for Molden who easily could have opted out this year to preserve his draft stock rather than risk injury and instead chose to come back one last time. He really only got the chance to start for 1.5 years but has earned a spot on the pedestal with the other DBs of this era.
TE Cade Otton seems the next most likely to head to the NFL while OL Jaxson Kirkland will surely strongly consider that move as well. We have already seen QB Jacob Sirmon and WR Jordan Chin enter the transfer portal and with the screwy eligibility rules for this season they likely won’t be the last.
We now have 9 months to dissect just 4 games and get ready for next season so there is plenty of time to recap and look ahead in the coming days. It has been a disappointing week for Husky athletics following a disappointing year. But there are reasons for hope both in the sporting world and outside of it with the beginning distribution this week of a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s to hoping that the players and their families remain healthy during this time and the team is able to come back next year with a strong core in place and an offseason that approaches something close to normal.