Washington has its starting quarterback.
But who will Jacob Eason throw to?
That question became even more clouded this week, when two sources confirmed to The Times that junior wide receiver Ty Jones will likely miss the majority of the 2019 season. The 6-foot-4, 213-pound junior sat out all but one practice last spring with a dislocated lunate bone and torn ligaments in his right wrist (and also suffered a left thumb injury in August).
A UW spokesperson declined to comment on Jones’ status.
Following a pair of surgeries, Jones only resumed catching passes “a few days before fall camp,” he told The Times earlier this month. Though he participated fully in the five practices open to the media in early August, Jones said that he was working to fully recover from the wrist injury.
“I’m limited in some things. At some angles, catching is kind of weird. I’m still trying to strengthen it,” Jones said. “I’m just strengthening it day-by-day and it’s getting more comfortable.”
Jones — who said that this was his first significant injury — told The Times that “I have to for sure rely on my left side a little bit heavier,” but that “hopefully in a game I’ll kind of zone it out and do what’s comfortable.”
Apparently, it never got comfortable enough. That’s a big blow for the Husky offense, considering that the Provo, Utah, product led the team with six receiving touchdowns (to go along with 31 catches, 491 receiving yards and 15.8 yards per reception) in 2018.
When asked directly about Jones’ availability during his weekly press conference on Monday, sixth-year Huskies head coach Chris Petersen said: “That was a significant injury, and we didn’t get him back going until — he could run and all that stuff, but in terms of catching balls — it wasn’t before really fall camp started. So he’s been working through that.”
Jones was listed behind senior Andre Baccellia on Washington’s Week 1 depth chart. He was not made available for interviews on Wednesday when requested.
UW returns every wide receiver who registered a reception last fall, including seniors Aaron Fuller (58 catches, 874 yards, 4 TD), Baccellia (55, 584, 0), Quinten Pounds (8, 166, 1) and Chico McClatcher (9, 134, 0). But without Jones’ red zone presence and play making ability, Eason and Co. will also need contributions from some combination of sophomore Terrell Bynum, redshirt freshmen Austin Osborne, Marquis Spiker and Trey Lowe and true freshman Puka Nacua.
Jones will have two seasons of eligibility remaining when he returns to the field in 2020.
Seattle Times staff reporter Adam Jude contributed to this report.