By Gregg Bell
UW Director of Writing
SEATTLE – Tuesday morning’s practice was day two of the Keith Price preservation plan.
The Huskies’ fifth-year senior quarterback is resting and rehabilitation a swollen and painful throwing shoulder.
Coach Steve Sarkisian says UW’s career leader with 73 touchdown passes will not throw until Thursday. That’s two days before the Huskies (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) play at Oregon State (6-4, 4-3) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night (ESPN2, the Washington IMG College radio network and here on GoHuskies.com with another exclusive game chat) in the next-to-last regular-season contest.
"He’s going to have to show me Thursday that he is capable of making the throws he needs to make," Sarkisian said Monday.
Cyler Miles threw two touchdown passes before two late interceptions while playing the second half for Price at UCLA. Miles ran the first-team offense again in practice Tuesday, and Sarkisian says the Huskies are preparing for the redshirt freshman to start in Corvallis.
But in the next breath the coach added Monday about the tough Price, who has played through pain the last three seasons: "I don't count him out."
Price was hurt while getting driven shoulder-first into the Rose Bowl turf on the last play of the first half last Friday at UCLA. He was in a sweat suit and beanie cap encouraging teammates during the second half of a rally that fell short, a 41-31 loss to the Bruins.
Usually when banged up — which has been for parts of all three seasons that he's started for Washington -- Price has answered that he will find a way to play the following week.
So it was indicative of how much the shoulder hurt Friday night when he said upon being asked if he thought he’d play against the Beavers: “I’m not sure.”
“It hurt pretty bad. I don’t just come out of a game that easily.”
Yet this isn’t the first time this fall Price hasn’t thrown until Thursday of a practice week. Actually, it's the second time in a month. After he left the loss at Arizona State with 12 minutes remaining to get X-rays on his banged thumb on his right, throwing hand, Price took Monday through Wednesday of the following week off from throwing. He then passed Sarkisian’s tests for throwing on a Thursday — then completed 20 of 32 passes for a season-high 376 yards and two touchdowns with a third score rushing in a blowout of California.
Sarkisian said an MRI last weekend showed there is no structural damage in Price’s shoulder, so his ability to throw on Thursday and play against the Beavers will be a swelling and pain tolerance issue.
INSIDE THE DAWGS: Sarkisian said he is hopeful to get left tackle Micah Hatchie back soon -- but it sounds iffy for Oregon State. Hatchie has a leg injury from getting, in the coach's words, leg whipped" on a goal-line play during the second half at UCLA. Hatchie has started 23 consecutive games for the Huskies dating to the 2012 opener against San Diego State. He has played in all 36 games since the start of his redshirt freshman season of 2011. If he can't go, Ben Riva would likely again move from right tackle to left and James Atoe would probably go back in at right tackle.