Washington Huskies linebacker Sean Constantine will miss the 2016 season after breaking his ankle during Friday night’s scrimmage, coach Chris Petersen said on Tuesday.
Constantine, a fourth-year junior, had been working with the second- and third-team defensive units during fall camp, and figured to add depth at middle and weak side linebacker. He played in every game last season as a sophomore and finished the year with 12 tackles.
Petersen called it a “freak” injury, and said Constantine will have surgery soon, followed by “months” of rehabilitation.
“Those are the hard ones. Kid worked his tail off,” Petersen said. “He’s had some injuries in the past, even through spring, and gotten himself in great shape, and he has another significant injury. He’s been, these last few days, spectacular in terms of his mindset, his mentality, when you know it’s going to cost you that much playing time.”
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Constantine, a Bellevue High School alumnus, figured to provide some depth at linebacker behind starters Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria. Without him, sophomore Ben Burr-Kirven and redshirt freshman DJ Beavers will likely see more playing time. Both have spent significant time with the No. 2 defense during camp.
SEASON TICKETS SALES SLIGHTLY HIGHER
Sales of UW season tickets are up this season — just barely.
After the school sold 39,821 season tickets last season — not including students — a UW spokesperson said on Monday that the school has sold 39,867 season tickets for the 2016 season.
Last year at this time, UW had sold 39,357 season tickets. The school sold more than 43,000 season tickets in 2014.
UW’s average home attendance last season was 61,919, down from 64,508 in 2014 and 68,759 in 2013, the first season after the renovation of Husky Stadium. The UW athletic department projected a budget shortfall of $14.8 million for the 2016 fiscal year, and athletic director Jen Cohen has said filling Husky Stadium is the surest way to return the department to financial solvency.
Husky Stadium’s capacity is 70,083.
Petersen said the competition between fourth-year junior Tony Rodriguez and third-year sophomore K.J. Carta-Samuels for UW’s backup quarterback position is still undecided. “I think those guys will compete for some more time. We still have a handful of days left to figure it out, and they’ve gotten a lot of reps. It’ll probably be week by week, unless one guy starts to emerge.” … The Huskies haven’t yet made decisions about which true freshmen will play this season, though Petersen expects to have a clearer idea by the end of the week. Wide receiver Aaron Fuller, safety Taylor Rapp, cornerback Byron Murphy, tailback Sean McGrew and linebacker Brandon Wellington could all be candidates to play, among a few others. “There’s a couple guys you say, ‘hey, we’re going,’ and a couple guys you say, ‘Let’s see how the next three weeks go.’ And then you adjust accordingly,” Petersen said. “There will be a guy you think you’re going to redshirt, and maybe something happens in game five where you have a string of injuries and it’s like, OK, now the plans are very different.”