Nov. 13, 2010
by Gregg Bell
UW Director of Writing
SEATTLE - Jake Locker returned to practice with his Huskies. But he has not yet been given the OK to play again with them.
Coach Steve Sarkisian said after the senior quarterback participated in all but the final 15 minutes of Saturday night's rainy practice inside Husky Stadium that doctors have not yet cleared Locker and his broken rib to start Thursday night's home finale against UCLA.
"I thought he moved around okay," Sarkisian said, sounding positive about Locker's first work in two weeks. "We will just have to take it day-by-day to assess how he responds from one day to the next.
"(We're) not going to make any grand statements as far as `Is he playing, is he not?' Just need to assess it here for a couple days.''
The coach added it "could easily be a game-time decision" on whether Locker plays against the Bruins. He did say doctors are very encouraged with progress of the rib's healing.
Locker did all the drills except final team scrimmaging during the approximately one-hour practice, which followed two off days for Washington (3-6, 2-4 Pac-10) in its bye week.
Redshirt freshman Keith Price, who completed 14 of 28 passes with a touchdown last week in his first college start at Oregon, ran the first-team offense in the final portion of practice.
"I just try to avoid some unnecessary contact there (with Locker) because, again, I just don't know exactly how he is doing to feel," on Sunday when UW practices again, Sarkisian said.
The coach said this week he will not play Locker - even in his final home game at UW - unless the school's No. 2 all-time passer practices before Wednesday.
"Any time it's Senior Night, those things have a tendency to get emotional and either way," Sarkisian said Saturday. "Whether he is playing or he is not it's going to be an emotional night.''
Locker missed his first start of the season last weekend at Oregon, after he broke a rib that had been bothering him for weeks in the Stanford game on Oct. 30.
That was the last time he had practiced or played before Saturday night.