Injury bug finally bests Washington Football team

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 09: Tight end Drew Sample (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 09: Tight end Drew Sample (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

The Washington Football team lost on the road to a prepared Stanford team. But in the end, the Washington Huskies did not just lose to the Cardinals, but rather to the injury bug.

The Washington Football team lost to the Stanford Cardinals in a fashion that wasn’t pretty. In fact, the game was hard to watch.  After the first quarter failed to show on most viewers televisions, thanks to a NASCAR series truck race, the game grew ever more disheartening.

Stanford Heisman candidate running back Bryce Love and the rest of the Stanford Cardinal team overpowered the Huskies 30-22 last Friday in Palo Alto. The only thought that I could think of as I sat in my college dorm at 2 a.m. was no playoffs. As I sat numb,  trying to take in the fact that the hopes of a second straight run at the College Football Playoffs are dead, I realized that the injury bug finally dropped the Huskies.

Byron Murphy

The bug started to bite on September 22nd, when redshirt freshman and starting cornerback Byron Murphy broke his foot. After nabbing two interceptions in the season opener against Rutgers, he fulfilled all the hype surrounding him since he stepped on campus. After losing three starting defensive backs to the NFL, Murphy proved the confidence of the coaches that the defense remained solid.

But he fell to injury, and this was definitely a bigger blow to the team than most people think. Football coaches always talk about “Next Man Up,” but it’s hard to in this case when Murphy was the next man up after losing Sidney Jones, Kevin King and Budda Baker in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Chico McClatcher

Wide receiver Chico McClatcher fell next, to a broken ankle.  While tough to watch in replay, it clearly did not rival Boston Celtics’ Gordon Hayward’s injury.  Still, the result was the same.  One more major contributor injured himself and ended his season,  thanks to a broken ankle.

Everyone expected McClatcher to step up as the team’s next speedster.  Just like Murphy, the Washington Football team looked to McClatcher to absorb the role of last year’s speedster wide receiver John Ross.  Ross also left for the NFL after last season. At the time of the injury, McClatcher was the team’s second leading receiver.  Unfortunately, his injury ruled him out for the season. As a matter of fact, that second receiver role is cursed this year, but I’ll get to that later.  We next face the biggest loss of the year.

Washington Football left tackle Trey Adams

The Arizona State Sun Devils had all but defeated the Washington Huskies by the time left tackle Trey Adams got hurt.  And if you’re anything like me, when he went down on the field you held your breath. Then, after ESPN showed just one replay of that play, that breath turned into a deep sigh and an, “Oh no…!”.

Trey Adam’s accolades over his time at Washington include All Pac-12 selection last season. Additionally, he earned the distinction of an All-American by the Football Writers Association. He was even the Huskies’ first All-American offensive lineman since Chad Ward in 2000. Oh did I mention he’s 6-foot-8 and 327 pounds? No offense to Chris Petersen, but that’s impossible to replace.

Jordan Miller

As if losing one starting cornerback from the Washington football team wasn’t bad enough, the injury bug claimed another victim.  This time, Byron Murphy’s running mate Jordan Miller went down with a broken leg. At the time of his injury, Miller was leading the conference in passer rating against among draft eligible corners at 27.8.

Just to put into perspective how crazy that number is, if a quarterback were to spike the ball, he’s earns a rating of 38. So I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that he was having a pretty good season.  At that point in the season, head coach Chris Petersen had lost both cornerbacks that he started the season with. We’ve seen Petersen have to move tremendous sophomore nickel back Myles Bryant outside.  That is a move he clearly was not ready for after spending all of camp and the first half of the season inside the numbers.

Hunter Bryant

The true freshman tight end Hunter Bryant was on his way to a spectacular first season on campus.  Instead, he suffered a leg injury against UCLA which ended his season. Bryant had flourished as Jake Browning’s number two target before taking a helmet straight to the kneecap early in the second quarter. To make things worse, Bryant was rated the top freshman in the country by Pro Football Focus when he went down. The tight end had impressed, and had secured himself a spot in the starting lineup next to senior Will Dissly and senior Drew Sample.

Quinten Pounds

Wide receiver Quinten Pounds was ready to come into his own after showing flashes of his potential at times this season. A perfect example happened in the Colorado game, when he pulled down an acrobatic 43 yard touchdown. Pounds was in position to become the number two wide receiver catcher before his season ended in practice with a non-contact knee injury.

Next: Washington Football team can still end season with ten wins

If there is a positive side to these injuries, there are a lot of opportunities for young players to step up, and hopefully we can see some more of them in these last two games against Utah and Washington State. Expect to see more of some true freshmen, mainly Ty Jones at wide receiver, and a rotation of Keith Taylor and Elijah Molden at cornerback.