The odds were not in the Huskies’ favor. Four players went down with injuries in practice Wednesday, none of them returning afterward.
And the news Thursday was not good, frankly.
Receiver Devin Aguilar (left knee) sprained the medial collateral ligament (MCL) when he got twisted and pinned to the turf during an 11-on-11 drill, and is out Saturday to play against Stanford in California.
Coach Steve Sarkisian said if “we pushed it,” Aguilar could have tried to go against the Cardinal. He indicated it would not be a long-term injury.
“Again we got such a nice (and) deep receiving corps that there’s no need to risk further injury,” Sarkisian said. “Let’s keep him out and let our other guys go play.”
Junior D’Andre Goodwin, the team’s leading receiver in 2008 whose snaps have been limited the past two weeks, stands to pick up the slack, as will Cody Bruns, who did not see action last weekend against Southern California.
Receiver James Johnson (right shoulder) did not practice, but will play Saturday, the coach said.
Then came the shocking news on Craig Noble, whom the coaching staff had just moved to the offensive line a few weeks ago. He will be out indefinitely – maybe for good – with a mysterious heart ailment.
“We’ll find out more in the future,” Sarkisian said.
The Los Angeles product redshirted last year, and came into preseason camp as a defensive tackle. But in the first week of the regular season, he and Nick Wood were moved to offense to shore up the depth.
Recently, Noble had complained of feeling “lethargic.” That is when doctors performed some tests, and discovered the sports-related irregular heartbeat.
• Offensive guard Senio Kelemete was ill Thursday, and did not practice. It allowed reserves such as Wood, Nick Scott, Drew Schaefer and Mykenna Ikehara to get more repetitions with the first- and second-string units.
• One of the reasons true freshman Talia Crichton has shot up the depth chart, and is now starting are injuries to other players. Darrion Jones (knee, foot) has not been able to shake the injuries suffered against Louisiana State, and Kalani Aldrich is having difficulty rebounding from the physical punishment to his body after games.
“He’s got to be a guy that when he’s in there and fresh, he’s really good,” Sarkisian said. “But when he gets beat up and sore, it’s almost added on top of him because he’s got some lingering injuries. So the beauty of that position is to have three guys who can play there.”
• Much like last week, strong safety Nate Williams was held out of practice Thursday to get him some rest.