Washington has lost one of its top reserve defensive backs for the rest of the season.
Huskies coach Chris Petersen said Thursday that sophomore safety Trevor Walker, who appeared in each of UW’s first eight games and made three starts, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and won’t play again this year.
Walker suffered the injury during UW’s 24-10 loss to Arizona State last week after earning the start at strong safety. He made 14 tackles this season and recovered a fumble.
“You feel bad for a guy that’s worked so hard and has really done a nice job of preparing,” Petersen said. “He’s really professional in how he goes about it.”
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Walker will likely be replaced in the defensive back rotation by third-year sophomore Brandon Beaver. Fourth-year junior Brian Clay, one of the Huskies’ standouts on special teams, is also listed on the depth chart.
The injury news might be a little better for the Huskies at running back, where both sophomore Dwayne Washington (chest) and redshirt freshman Lavon Coleman (shoulder) sat out last week while linebacker Shaq Thompson took over primary tailback duties.
Petersen didn’t say a whole lot on Thursday when asked about the status of Washington and Coleman for the Huskies’ game Saturday at Colorado, saying only that “everybody’s rolling.” On Monday he said Coleman “definitely” could have played against ASU if the gameplan hadn’t already been tailored for Thompson.
Asked specifically if Washington and Coleman would both simply be available, or if they would actually play, Petersen replied: “All that.”
Does that mean Thompson moves back to linebacker? He’s scored four defensive touchdowns from that position this season, but didn’t play any defense last week beyond the first series of the game. He carried the ball 21 times for 98 yards as a running back.
Petersen didn’t rule out Thompson remaining on offense this week. Or playing anywhere else.
“We’re kind of figuring out where we best think we can use him and move him around,” Petersen said. “It’s an interesting dilemma, because there’s so many different places he can help us, and we’re always trying to figure that out. But he’s kind of available all over the board.”
UW hopes that a healthy Cyler Miles, who returns from a head injury to start again at quarterback this week, will help spark their offense. Miles has completed 66 percent of his passes in six games this season with 10 touchdowns and only one interception, but his average of 6.6 yards per attempt ranks just 84th out of the 100 quarterbacks who have played enough to qualify.
“I think Cyler’s made steady progress all season long,” Petersen said. “Last game he played in, the two turnovers were really hard on us, but I think he did some good things. He’s very focused, working really hard in practice, and we’ll see if it translates on Saturday.”