One of the seemingly most common injuries in the sport these days bit the Huskies over the weekend – in particular, tailback Deontae Cooper.
Cooper will miss the rest of the season after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee on his first attempt of the night scrimmage session Saturday at Husky Stadium.
The California product will have surgery over the next couple weeks. Rehabilitation time is "seven months to a year, roughly," UW coach Steve Sarkisian said.
"Knowing him and knowing his body type and the way he's wired, I would imagine it's going to be closer to seven months than 12 months," the second-year coach added. "But we'll see how it goes."
Cooper attended morning practice Monday, and watched on crutches with his knee in a brace. He was not made available to the media, and likely won't be for a week or so.
Sarkisian said the injury happened on a play that was "contact, but non-contact" – meaning he took a short-yardage carry and busted it back against the grain. He got near the sidelines. Nobody touched his leg, but he did get tackled and fell down after a 32-yard gain.
"It was a little twinge (in knee's lateral movement) of about four inches," Sarkisian said. "You can see it on the film. And that was it."
Sarkisian added the staff had an idea of the severity of Cooper's ailment Saturday night. An MRI confirmed the worst fears Sunday.
Joel Thomas, the UW running backs coach, said Jesse Callier and Johri Fogerson should be in line for more carries in Cooper's stead.
"Again, we've set a plan for him to monitor him throughout this camp and to get him to where he's really, really healthy," Sarkisian said.
"You will see a little bit of a rotation at all of our spots. You'll see it here with our wideouts coming up; this was a time for him to get a rest time anyway, so he's getting it and that will rotate through to (Jermaine) Kearse and (Devin) Aguilar and D'Andre (Goodwin) and Jordan (Polk) and back into him again.''
Sarkisian warned to not read too much into the realignment.
"We're relatively set (for starters), but we're constantly contingency-planning," Sarkisian said. "With offensive linemen, they're a play away. If they never work with each other and all of a sudden we expect them to do it in the second quarter at BYU, it's kind of hard on those guys. We're consistently putting guys in with each other, getting a comfort level with each other so if and when something does happen, we're prepared for it."
"We're playing too high. As a football team, when you're in short-yardage and goal-line situations, one of the keys to that is pad level. And our pad level was too high, but that is somewhat is expected the first time you get down there. And we're not playing violent-enough football at the line of scrimmage. We need to be more violent with our hands – shedding blocks, double-teaming people on thee line of scrimmage. It's been addressed, and we'll continue to work on it."