Well, the injury list continues to grow as starting safety Justin Glenn and heralded safety recruit Shaq Thompson sat out tonight’s practice after suffering mild concussions, apparently in this morning’s practice.
Will Shamburger worked as the first-team safety, while James Sample, who has been slowed by a groin injury, worked in as well as at the nickel back. Safety Travis Feeney is now working in at the linebacker position. He took first team reps today with John Timu as the defense worked in their 5-2 look a lot. Feeney was basically playing the spot that former safeties Nate Fellner, Evan Zeger and Taz Stevenson are all vying for.
Feeney played linebacker in high school, but the Huskies recruited him as a safety. At 6-4, he’s the tallest linebacker. But he’s weight right around 216 pounds. So he looks kind of long and rangy compared to the rest of the linebackers.
Let’s just go through the list of players:
LB Thomas Tutogi (sprained knee) — did not practice and was wearing a brace on his knee. Sarkisian did say the knee sprain wasn’t as bad as once feared and he could be back sooner than expected.
LB Jamaal Kearse (thigh contusion) — dressed out but barely practiced.
LB Taz Stevenson (concussion) — practiced in yellow no contact jersey
LB Princeton Fuiamono (hamstring) — dressed out, but was very limited
LB Nate Fellner (broken foot) — was not at practice.
WR James Johnson (foot injury) — dressed out, but practiced minimally and spent the rest getting treatment
CB Marcus Peters (sore back) — dressed out, but did not do much in practice.
S Justin Glenn (concussion) — did not dress for practice
S Shaq Thompson (concussion) — did not dress for practice
OL Cory Fuavai (achilles) — dressed, but was very limited.
WR Kevin Smith (knee) — did not dress for practice. Sarkisian said they gave Smith the night off after being very active in the morning practice.
And obviously, Hau’oli Jamora (knee), Erik Kohler (knee), Deontae Cooper (knee), Ryan McDaniel (knee), Cooper Pelluer (shoulder) all did not dress for practice.
In the 5-2 defensive look, the defensive front was Josh Shirley, Semisi Tokolahi, Danny Shelton, Talia Crichton and Andrew Hudson. Both Sione Poto’ae and Jarrett Finau both got looks with the first team unit.
It appears as though Tre Watson has played his way into and Greg Ducre has played his way out of the first-team corner back spot opposite Desmond Trufant. Watson’s ability to make plays on the ball and play fundamentally solid has pushed him past the injured Peters and the inconsistent Ducre. The injury to Peters did allow freshman Brandon Beaver to see plenty of snaps with the second team defense. Beaver looked a little overwhelmed his first few practices, but he’s starting to make more and more plays.
The offensive line is starting to have some continuity … the same first-team unit of LT: Micah Hatchie, LT: Colin Tanigawa, C: Drew Schaefer, RG: James Atoe, RT: Ben Riva were together for all the first team snaps.
It’s important that Tanigawa practiced fully for one of the first times this season. He participated in all the 11-on-11 stuff, which means he’s close to being a full go from his offseason knee surgery.
Kicker Travis Coons hit five straight field goals of 28, 28, 35, 38 and 47 yards and then missed twice from 59 yards.
Also of note … true freshman defensive end Pio Vatuvei worked in at fullback today in some short yardage and goal line situations. Vatuvei played some fullback at Patterson High Schools. And even at 281 pounds, he moved pretty well.