Status of UW's Keith Price won't be decided until Thursday

Staff writerNovember 19, 2013 

Nov 15, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Keith Price (17) throws a pass against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

KIRBY LEE — USA Today Sports

For the second time this season, the Washington Huskies will wait until the conclusion of a Thursday practice to figure out who will start at quarterback when they play Saturday.

It’s a wait-and-see mode necessitated by another injury to quarterback Keith Price, who must wait for the swelling in his right (throwing) shoulder to subside before he can throw the ball at practice and prove to coach Steve Sarkisian that he’s capable of playing in Saturday’s game at Oregon State.

Price, who injured the shoulder in the second quarter of Friday’s loss at UCLA, will rest Tuesday and Wednesday, then throw on Thursday and be evaluated from there.

In the meantime, Sarkisian said, redshirt freshman Cyler Miles will prepare as if he is going to make his first career start.

“I’m not going to put him (Price) on the field if

he’s not healthy enough to play,” Sarkisian said. “He’s going to have to show me Thursday that he’s able to make the throws that he’s capable of making. We’re going to allow that shoulder some time to get some of the swelling out of there, the inflammation out of there, so that he feels good on Thursday to go out and throw. And if he’s capable of doing that, we’ll play him. If he’s not, we’ll go with Cyler.”

The good news for Price is that a magnetic resonance imaging exam did not reveal any structural damage, meaning that his ability to play will be a matter of pain tolerance.

The fifth-year senior has already tolerated a considerable amount of pain during his three-year career as a starter. As a sophomore in 2011, he played through ankle and knee injuries, lingering issues that eventually caused him not to start UW’s game at Oregon State that year.

He was beat up in similar fashion last season, too, and this season played four games through swelling around the thumb on his right hand.

Before the Huskies played California on Oct. 26, Price’s thumb was so banged up that Sarkisian issued a similar edict — limited participation during practice until Thursday, at which point Price threw well enough to convince Sarkisian that he could play in that week’s game.

When he came out of Friday’s game after two hard hits, Price tried to throw a warm-up pass on the sideline and immediately dropped his shoulder in pain. The inflammation was too much to bear. But the Huskies hope these few days off will alleviate it.

“With what our medical team has done, in my opinion (they) have done a great job already identifying it,” Sarkisian said. “The swelling is reducing rapidly. His movement is much better today than it was the last couple of days. So we’ll see where he’s at Thursday. I don’t count the guy out. He’s a fighter, he’s a competitor.”

The Huskies are also unsure of left tackle Micah Hatchie’s status. He left Friday’s game early in the second half after he was leg-whipped, Sarkisian said, and is “still pretty sore.”

“We need to get Micah healthy,” Sarkisian said. “As important as Keith is, Micah is, too, to what we do. Hopefully we get him back sooner rather than later.”

PAC-12 ADMITS GOOF

One of Price’s better throws during Friday’s game was a 38-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow in the first half.

But it wasn’t a touchdown. Guard Dexter Charles was penalized for illegally touching a defender’s face with his hands, and the touchdown was wiped out.

But it wasn’t a penalty — or shouldn’t have been, anyway. Television replays proved as much. The Pac-12 admitted it, too, Sarkisian said, informing UW that the official who threw the flag was, indeed, incorrect.

“We get a lot of penalties, and probably the majority of those, deservedly so,” Sarkisian said. “When you get one that isn’t, and is obviously very clear to see that it’s not a penalty, and not only is it not a penalty, it takes seven points off the board for you in a critical ballgame, it’s hard. But the reality is that one play is not the reason why we lost the game. Sure, would we have loved to have that touchdown? No doubt about it. But there’s other plays in there, too, that we could have helped ourselves better.”

The Huskies punted to UCLA’s 1-yard line two plays after the penalty, then forced and recovered a fumble before scoring a touchdown.

christian.caple@thenewstribune.com
blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports

Huskies’ opponent this week

OREGON STATE BEAVERS (6-4, 4-3 in Pac-12)

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.; ESPN2, 950-AM

Coach: Mike Riley (87-71 in 13th year at OSU and overall)

Against the Huskies: Washington leads the series, 59-34-4.

Scouting report: Oregon State’s offensive success has hinged on its offensive line’s ability to protect QB Sean Mannion, and on Mannion’s ability to throw several completions per game to All-America candidate WR Brandin Cooks. The Beavers rank second in the country in passing offense, throwing for 396.3 yards per game, and Cooks leads the nation in receiving yards per game with 144.3. Those numbers come at the expense of OSU’s rushing statistics, and as such, the Beavers rank 120th nationally with 69.5 yards per game, and they’ve rushed the ball fewer times than all but one team (Washington State). OSU’s defense averages two sacks per game and ranks 55th nationally in total defense. Scott Crichton, a junior DE, is from Tacoma (Foss), as is LB Charlie Gilmur (Curtis). Senior G Grant Enger is from Bothell (O’Dea), and junior TE Connor Hamlett is from Edmonds.

Did you know? UW hasn’t won at Reser Stadium since 2003.

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