Coach Steve Sarkisian sorely needed an alternative to tailback Chris Polk in short-yardage situations last season, especially in the red zone for Washington.
His options just became abbrievated Thursday when the university announced that bullish tailback Deontae Cooper (knee) will miss the upcoming season, and fullback Zach Fogerson (head) has been dismissed permanently because of injuries.
Fogerson missed the last part of spring ball because of a concussion - and had still been feeling the effects of it in the following months.
"(Fogerson) has been medically disqualified because of concussions," UW coach Steve Sarkisian said on Thursday afternoon. "It’s unfortunate, because we feel he had a bright future here at UW. Anytime you’re talking about head injuries, you have to think safety first."
Junior Jonathan Amosa emerged out of spring camp as the starter at fullback, but the former walkon linebacker has not registered a carry at the UW.
Gardena High's Dezden Petty, a consensus top-20 fullback prospect, could also be an option, but won't start with the Huskies until fall camp.
Meanwhile, Cooper enrolled early in the spring of 2010, and was expected to have a prominent role as a backup to Polk before suffering a season-ending left knee injury in fall camp last August.
Despite missing spring camp, he was on track to participate in preseason practices before reportedly reinjuring the same knee during a conditioning workout.
"We’re confident that he will make a full recovery and be ready to play in 2012," Sarkisian said.
Cooper's injury should open playing-time opportunities at tailback for Johri Fogerson, or even incoming freshman Bishop Sankey, out of Spokane.