SEATTLE — SEATTLE — Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian has not been shy about his reluctance to discuss Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ availability.
It’s one thing about which he is trying to be definitive: If asked, he won’t answer.
He maintained that policy Monday during the first game-week news conference of the 2013 season.
Sarkisian did say that the preseason All-America tight end has yet to be medically cleared to play in Saturday night’s opener against 19th-ranked Boise State in Seattle. Seferian-Jenkins was again limited in Monday’s practice because of his broken right pinkie.
When pressed in a follow-up if Seferian-Jenkins would play Saturday should he be medically cleared, Sarkisian brushed off the reporter’s question.
Seferian-Jenkins broke his pinkie Aug. 12 and had a pin inserted during surgery three days later. Sarkisian said it was a clean break.
Since then, Seferian-Jenkins has not been catching passes during practice. He has a small protective covering on his right hand.
Seferian-Jenkins also was charged with driving under the influence after being pulled over in March in the University District. He was suspended from the team until fall camp.
Sarkisian has not publicly stated whether Seferian-Jenkins will be suspended for the opener as part of his punishment.
That leaves Seferian-Jenkins, last years second-leading receiver and the owner of almost every record for UW tight ends, among the few Huskies in question for the opener.
I like our depth, Sarkisian said. Our depth is night and day compared to where weve ever been.
They will need it this season.
With its full-time shift to an up-tempo offense and nine opponents who like to speed offensively like race cars in the red, Washington hopes it has enough in the tank.
How the offensive line handles the move will be crucial. The Huskies made a recent tweak there.
After Ben Riva was at left tackle for most of fall camp, he switched back to right tackle last week. Micah Hatchie moved back to the left, where he played last season.
Now we know we have a really good backup left tackle and we can supplement at right tackle with James Atoe (if Riva had to move), Sarkisian said. I just feel better about our rotation the way it is.
Washington closed last season with a 28-26 loss to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Now, it opens with the Broncos a little more than eight months later.
You know some of the tendencies of their play-callers, Sarkisian said. The disadvantage is they know the same things about us. You try not to over-think things. You try to stay disciplined in what you do.
Sarkisian expects an almost full, renovated Husky Stadium for the opener.
I think theyve been great in dealing with the potential distractions, Sarkisian said of his players. Football is priority No. 1. Weve been humbled and honored that we can move into the new stadium.
The stadium is awesome. The stadiums great. Whats really going to make the place special is how we play.