The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

80° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Wildcats can’t avoid monsoon of injuries

Tyler Baker

Officials escort Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon (12) off the field after he suffered a concussion while playing against UCLA at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 26. Solomon’s concussions is just one of many injuries Arizona is dealing with.

There’s an old phrase in Tucson, “When it rains, it pours.” This is due to the infamous monsoon season every summer in Southern Arizona, because Tucson is as dry as a bone 10 months out of the year, and the rainy season puts the Old Pueblo under water. This phrase can also describe the plague of injuries on Arizona’s football squad. 

The Wildcats’ heads were soaring in the clouds heading into Saturday’s matchup with UCLA. ESPN’s College GameDay was in town and Arizona was under the microscope on a national level for its first test of the season. 

It was Arizona’s game to lose as All-American linebacker Scooby Wright III was making his return from a lateral meniscus tear suffered in week one, and Myles Jack was absent for the Bruins. Arizona received a grade-A beating from UCLA, and the injury bug found its way back to the program. 

Head coach Rich Rodriguez broke the news in Monday’s press conference that Wright will be out several weeks with a right foot sprain. So, with Wright out again, it’s back to the drawing board for the middle linebacker core.

“His knee was fine, and he ran around well and got back into it,” Rodriguez said. “He landed on his right foot at some point in the game and sprained his right foot. We were concerned it might have been more than that, but the MRI results came in and Scooby will be out several more weeks with a foot sprain.”

Just when there seemed to be hope of recovery for this Arizona defense with its ringleader’s return, it turned out to only be a tease for the Wildcats. The linebackers are struggling to stay healthy, and Rodriguez added that linebacker Derrick Turituri is questionable for the first road conference game against Stanford. 

“I don’t know if [Turituri] can play. He’s a little bit banged up so we’re hoping he’ll have a good week of recovery,” Rodriguez said. “This is not a good team to be short on linebackers.” 

The defense is extremely slim heading into Stanford, and that’s bad news bears for Rodriguez. Stanford’s reputation for having the best offensive linemen in the country while running a double tight end set will give Arizona’s defense nightmares, considering the Cardinal’s offensive front averages out at 6-foot-4 and around 300 pounds. 

Stanford is a physical team that runs between the hashes, and with the declination of Wildcat linebackers, the replacements will have their work cut out for them. 

The Wildcats’ monsoon wasn’t just on the defensive side of the ball. Rodriguez briefly talked about quarterback Anu Solomon’s concussion suffered during the first half Saturday. According to Rodriguez, the sophomore phenom will be day-to-day heading up to the showdown with Stanford. 

“Anu went out with a concussion,” Rodriguez said. “As normal protocol, the doctors and trainers will make that decision and evaluate him every day.”

Now it’s either Brandon Dawkin’s or Jerrard Randall’s turn to take the keys of the Ferrari that is Arizona’s offense. 

Wide receiver Cayleb Jones jokingly established the biggest differences between the two in the huddle.
“We don’t huddle,” Jones said. 

With that being the case, Arizona’s injury plagued future without a bye week doesn’t look promising.

Only time will tell if they can return to the Pac-12 South’s throne.

Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.

More to Discover
Activate Search