In the midst of a breakthrough senior season, Mathis leads the team with 5.0 sacks this year.
Washington outside linebacker Joe Mathis, in the midst of a breakthrough senior season for the Pac-12’s top defense, is expected to miss Saturday’s game against Oregon State with an unspecified injury — and could be sidelined for several more weeks, sources told The Seattle Times.
Sophomore Tevis Bartlett, UW’s primary backup at strong-side linebacker, also sat out Saturday’s game.
Mathis was spotted on campus this week in a walking boot. He leads the team in sacks (5.0) and is tied with nose tackle Greg Gaines for the team lead in tackles for loss (7.5).
A 6-foot-2, 255-pound senior from Ontario, Calif., Mathis was suspended by UW coach Chris Petersen two years ago and nearly left the team then. His maturation since has been “a damn-near 180,” UW co-defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski told The Times this week.
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On July 27, Mathis became a father when his son, Joe IV, was born. That, he said, has changed him.
“I don’t go out anymore,” he said. “All I do is focus. Everybody in the hotel might be out doing their thing, but I’m watching extra film because I’ve got a mouth to feed.”
Junior Connor O’Brien is listed as Mathis’ backup at Buck linebacker. The Huskies could also shift middle linebacker Azeem Victor to the Buck position in passing situations.
Gaines, too, has been banged up since taking an illegal chop block against Arizona last month. He is expected to play against Oregon State.
The Huskies (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) are also expect to have back wide receiver Chico McClatcher, who sat out against Oregon two weeks ago with an unspecified injury.