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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Locker won’t play versus No. 1 Ducks

SEATTLE — Jake Locker will not play Saturday when the Huskies take on No. 1-ranked Oregon after his rib injury escalated into a break during Saturday’s game against Stanford.

Redshirt freshman Keith Price will start and Nick Montana will be the backup, though Cody Bruns and Jesse Callier, who each have high school experience playing quarterback, will be emergency QBs with the hope to preserve Montana’s redshirt year.

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said Locker had a hairline fracture heading into the Stanford game but had been cleared to play. Locker had been said to have “”sore”” or “”bruised”” ribs the past two weeks.

“”The (medical) staff agreed that it was OK for him to play and we made that decision, a decision that is really made routinely week to week to week not just for a quarterback but for every player on our team,”” Sarkisian said. “”In this case the staff has made the recommendation to hold him out and get him healthy. The goal is to have him healthy for our final three ballgames.””

Sarkisian denied that Locker had a broken rib last week and reiterated under questioning that Locker had been cleared to play in consultation with Locker and his parents.

“”It went from a cartilage injury to a hairline fracture to now a crack in the rib,”” Sarkisian said. “”This has escalated into an injury more than just pain, so we are dealing with it as such.””

The injury got worse when Locker took a couple big hits in the 41-0 loss to Stanford. Locker said he hopes he can return when the Huskies play UCLA on Nov. 18.

Locker said he did not know exactly when the injury occurred against Stanford. Locker played into the fourth quarter, coming out only for the final series with the outcome long decided.

“”He took a couple good shots that kind of escalated this thing to a whole ‘nother level for us,”” Sarkisian said. “”It’s unfortunate. I know Jake wants to be out there in the worst way but this is the right thing to do.””

Sarkisian said the rib injury happened initially against Oregon State and the first X-ray after that game did not show a break.

Locker met the media briefly.

“”If I can be out there, I will,”” Locker said of the UCLA game.

Locker will not practice this week. The Huskies have a bye following the Oregon game before the UCLA game on a Thursday night.

As for Price, Sarkisian said that getting his first start at Autzen Stadium is “”going to be a challenging one”” but that “”he’s made great strides and has a real confidence about him right now.””

Price has played in five games this season, completing 5 of 9 passes for 37 yards and a touchdown, that coming in the win at USC. Price, a dual-threat type, has rushed three times for 11 yards.

Sarkisian said that Montana would play only in the event of a “”long-term issue,”” surely meaning an injury to Price, but the hope is that Montana will not have to play.

Sarkisian said the decision to sit Locker was not made due to the opponent or having a bye, but simply due to his health.

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