Almost from the time E.J. Savannah stepped on the football field this season, he’s had some sort of cast on his left hand.
The senior linebacker has broken the hand three different times this fall, the most recent coming in the third quarter of Saturday’s loss to Oregon, when he broke the bone at the base of his thumb.
Savannah suffered a broken metacarpal (finger) in preseason camp, and then three games into the season against USC he broke a different finger, and now the broken thumb.
“It kind of sucks, it’s all in the same hand,” he said Tuesday. “I guess I’m cursed.”
Savannah hasn’t had much good luck staying healthy in other ways this season, either. He’s also battled plantar fasciitis and the effects of a stinger.
“I’ve never seen a guy break his hand so many times,” UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt said. “It’s amazing. He’s one tough kid. He’s had so many injuries. He keeps battling. It’s just too bad.”
The latest break forced Savannah to sport a new cast, immobilizing his thumb and shutting him down in practice this week.
Life with a seemingly permanent cast is certainly wearing on Savannah. Showering is a chore. The itching can be a nightmare.
“I hate the itching,” Savannah said. “Forks, knives, anything I can get ahold of to shove down in there to get the itching to stop.”
While Savannah has to deal with the cast during the day, in practices and games he’ll be dealing with a familiar club on his hand. Trainers tape the hand into a club, similar to a giant q-tip with his entire fist enclosed.
While the hand is completely protected when taped, it does hinder Savannah some on the field, mostly with his tackling.
“I can’t wrap up,” he said. “I just have to bang them to the ground.”
New position for Boyles
The Huskies’ secondary had a new player Tuesday, and it was tough not to notice him since Anthony Boyles stands at least four inches taller than any other UW defensive back.
Boyles, normally a redshirt freshman wide receiver, was wearing a purple defensive jersey and taking reps at cornerback.
Holt called it an experiment, not necessarily a permanent switch.
Right now, Boyles isn’t contributing much as a receiver. He’s stuck down the depth chart behind Jermaine Kearse and James Johnson. And with his size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds), Boyles could be valuable at defensive back going against some of the Pacific-10 Conference’s bigger receivers.
“He was a good DB in high school,” Holt said.
QB Jake Locker did not practice because of a sore right quadriceps, but he did play catch with a football. ... WR Johnson (sickness) and backup guard/center Mykenna Ikehara (knee) did not practice. ... DE Kalani Aldridge had to have a knee drained this week. It’s a recurring issue.