Quarterback was hurt early in Oregon game. Huskies don't play until Nov. 7.
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian is benching Jake Locker for the bye week.
The Huskies quarterback stood off to the side and watched Monday’s drills while sophomore Ronnie Fouch and freshman Keith Price directed the offense.
Sarkisian said Locker needs the time off and Fouch and Price need the work.
“You take a pounding as a quarterback,” Sarkisian said. “You play eight straight weeks of football and that stuff takes its toll on you. So we’ll take it easy on him and plus we need to get Ronnie more reps.
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“You’re talking about a guy who hasn’t really played. He got his first action here last week in one series and it was three plays. So we need to get him more plays and we need to get Keith Price more plays. He needs to be playing our offense and not reading off a card.”
Locker also needs to recover from a quadriceps injury suffered in the first quarter in Saturday’s 43-19 loss to Oregon.
Neither Sarkisian nor Locker talked about the injury Saturday, but the Huskies coach said Monday that Locker was limited late in the game. Locker threw for 266 yards passing, but he was sacked four times and finished with minus-16 yards rushing on seven attempts.
“He took a pretty good shot in his quad early in the ballgame versus Oregon that took its toll on him through the ballgame,” Sarkisian said. “He wasn’t running like we’ve all known Jake to run.
“It was a pretty good shot early in the ballgame. I think it was our second series when that happened.”
In addition to Locker, linebacker E.J. Savannah, who aggravated his thumb Saturday, will not practice this week. Washington has workouts Tuesday and Wednesday before taking a three-day break and returning Sunday.
Other players who will take time off include: linebackers Mason Foster and Donald Butler, defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, safety Nate Williams and running back Chris Polk.
And while some Huskies are resting, the coaching staff will take a long look at Fouch, Price, running back Demitrius Bronson, tight end Dorson Boyce and defensive ends Talia Crichton and Andru Pulu.
Sarkisian said getting more work for Fouch and Price has nothing to do with increasing NFL speculation surrounding Locker, who was named Monday a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback award.
“I don’t worry about that stuff,” Sarkisian said when asked about Locker’s draft prospects. “I really don’t. That stuff is so far away. Those days after the season, if he comes to even thinking about making that decision, those days are long, long days. And before the NFL draft comes, that’s a long way to go, a lot of information to digest before we worry about that.”
Sarkisian said the Huskies (2-3, 3-5), who have lost four of the past five games, are focused on finishing strong in the final four games beginning with UCLA on Nov. 7. He didn’t mention qualifying for a bowl game or having a winning record when talking about the team’s goals.
“Our goals will never change,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what our record is. Our goal is, when the game’s over, when the opponent comes to shake our hand, that they respect us. I don’t think that’s happened every game, but for the most part they have.”
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org