Nothing seemed out of the ordinary Wednesday at the Washington Huskies football practice. Squads were divided up. Scout-team preparation was the emphasis. The action was flying by.
And suddenly, in one big "Ratta-tat-tat" swoop, plays took their toll:
In minutes, Aguilar's left knee had a big pack of ice wrapped around it, and taped up. He did not return.
A few plays later, he was on the sideline with his own bag of ice draped over his right shoulder. Johnson has had some issues with the same shoulder off and on.
Goodwin stayed on the turf. He did not return with an unspecified injury.
"Victor wasn't even trying to hit him, he was trying to catch him," Sarkisian said. "They just ran into each other."
Sarkisian, who isn't one to discuss injuries in great detail until there is a high level of finality (like linebacker Brandon Huppert's season-ending knee surgery from the USC game), downplayed the weird chain of events to close out practice.
"We'll be OK," the first-year coach assured. "The guys are just sore."
In other developments:
"That's the way we are approaching it right now. It doesn't mean they are playing every snap, but they have kind of assumed the role," Sarkisian said. "They are comfortable out there playing. I thought they played really well last week and had a good week of work so far."
As mentioned earlier this week, UW athletic trainers started taping his ankle differently, and in a manner that alleviated the pressure off where the screw had been implemented during last spring's surgery.
" It's made a lot of difference," Thompson said. "They've taped more inside (my foot), and lifts up the ankle a little more. Feels better."
Sarkisian on Jones, who was limited against USC: "He's not 100 percent yet, so it showed the way he played last game. You could see he was ginger and not flying around playing fast football.
Sarkisian on Matthews: "We'd love to have him back out there."
On at least a snap Saturday, Boyce – the junior college transfer from Allan Hancock College and No. 3 tight end – was used as an H-back, lining up in the backfield.
"We are trying to find him a role. He's a good kid. He's willing he put in his time. He's tough mentally. He's tough physically," Sarkisian said. "(We're) just trying to find him a role so he can be part of the game, especially when you go on the road, you only have your 64 guys. The last thing you want is to bring too many guys who aren't doing anything."
The reason? Sarkisian wants players to adjust to the "quietness" of the new Stanford Stadium.
"It's a different setting when you go to Stanford. It's not one that's a raucous crowd," the coach said. "They do get loud but it's not a setting that is constant. When we play in Husky Stadium, it's constant noise and you've got to get used to it, and there will be venues on the road that are that way as well. This one is not that way, and you need to get your mind right to get used to the quietness of it, and then the roar of it."
"When it gets hot, and you get sweaty … the ball has a tendency to slip through your hands," Sarkisian said. "So we've just got to make sure his hands are dry, and possibly use a towel and try some different things to negate that happening again."
Walk-through at Stanford Stadium is at 5 p.m., and should not last more than an hour.
The team's return flight is scheduled to leave San Francisco at 11 p.m. Saturday.