Huskies banged up going into bye week

christian.caple@thenewstribune.comOctober 29, 2013 

SEATTLE — Steve Sarkisian doesn’t want to proclaim Kasen Williams’ season finished quite yet, but the coach said he’ll know more about the junior receiver’s status after he undergoes surgery Tuesday for a broken bone in his left leg and an injury to his foot.

Williams suffered the injuries after California defensive back Kameron Jackson landed awkwardly on Williams’ lower left leg during the second quarter of UW’s 41-17 win over the Bears on Saturday.

“All the force caused, obviously, the break in the leg and then the injury to the foot,” Sarkisian said.

After the game, Sarkisian said Williams would likely miss the rest of the season, but said Monday that a more specific timetable will be available after the surgery.

Williams, from Sam-mamish, caught 29 passes for 429 yards this season. He was scheduled Monday for a magnetic resonanace imaging (MRI) exam.

“To Kasen’s credit, he’s in good spirits,” Sarkisian said. “He came to Coach (Don) James’ service yesterday, was with the team today, and he’ll take it like a champion. He’ll do whatever we need him to do to get healthy, and he’ll be back.”

There are other Washington players who need this bye week to get healthy. Aside from Williams, Sarkisian didn’t think any of the ailments suffered by his players before or during Saturday’s game against California were anything serious.

But having this week off should help. Starting left guard Dexter Charles (shoulder), rush end Josh Shirley (calf), defensive tackle Lawrence Lagafuaina and defensive back Kevin King (shoulder) all watched Saturday’s game from the sideline. Charles has missed two games.

“We’re just a banged up team right now,” Sarkisian said. “We had a physical run of teams that we went up against that’s taken its toll. We’ve got some quad contusions, we’ve got some shoulder bruises, we’ve got some calf strains, quad strains. We’ve just got all kind of things, the whole spectrum of injuries. I don’t really want to call them injuries, because I think if we were playing Saturday the majority of those guys could play, and would play.”

Aside from getting healthy, UW’s mission for the bye week is different now than it was earlier in Sarkisian’s career. Instead of focusing on Colorado, the Huskies will use the week to work with players who might not play until later in their careers.

Sarkisian said it’s about “developing our younger players, working with those guys, focusing on a few new schemes we’re going to need to have ready for the fourth quarter, and getting fresh, getting healthy.

“The emphasis on those guys has gradually increased as our bye weeks have come, where early on it was just trying to get healthy and get ready for the next week. Now, there’s a real emphasis placed on those guys and developing them to get them prepared for their playing time down the road.”


Travis Coons, Washington’s punter, place-kicker and now kickoff specialist, was named Pac-12 special-teams player of the week on Monday.

Coons handled all three jobs last season, but was taken off kickoffs this season with the addition of Cameron Van Winkle. But Van Winkle has missed the past three games with a back injury, so Coons is back on kickoffs while still punting and kicking field goals and PATs.

He made two field goals against Cal, and landed three of his eight punts inside Cal’s 10. Three of Coons’ eight kickoffs went for touchbacks.


Washington’s Nov. 9 game against Colorado at Husky Stadium will kick off at 5 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks. @ChristianCaple

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