SEATTLE — Although Trey Adams has been held out of spring practice, the star University of Washington left tackle is recovering nicely from his knee injury.
Huskies coach Chris Petersen said Friday that Adams, as well as the team’s other injured players, are “on track” to return by the start of fall camp, which is usually in late July or early August.
Adams, who scouts consider an NFL first-round pick, tore an anterior cruciate ligament Oct. 6 in a loss at Arizona State.
“Trey may be ready to go for the first game. He might not be. We’ll just see,” Petersen said. “Those type of injuries are nine-to-12 months, 14 months. But everybody is feeling good. He’s right where he needs to be, but that’s to be determined when you start getting in there, playing for real and get some more live reps. We won’t know that until down the road.”
Petersen and the Huskies have been without a number of players this spring as they recovery from injuries sustained last year. UW is testing a number of its reserve receivers as it awaits the return of Chico McClatcher and Quinten Pounds. McClatcher broke his ankle in the fourth game of the season against Colorado. Pounds injured his knee in early November and missed the rest of the 2017 campaign.
UW is also missing linebackers D.J. Beavers and Brandon Wellington. Beavers, a junior, didn’t play until late October after missing the start of the year with an Achilles injury. Wellington has also been held out. Redshirt freshman linebacker Ariel Ngata, a former four-star prospect, is active but is the only Husky wearing a non-contact practice jersey.
The Huskies have also gone through camp without cornerbacks Jordan Miller and Austin Joyner, who played at Marysville Pilchuck. Miller broke his left ankle last season against ASU, while Joyner, who participated the first week of camp, missed the second week with an undisclosed injury.
The 6-foot-8, 331-pound Adams has not participated in any of the drills in spring camp. The Huskies have turned to junior Henry Roberts to fill in at left tackle. Roberts, who is 6-6 and 313 pounds, played in seven games last year.
Roberts has worked with redshirt sophomore Luke Wattenberg during practice. Wattenberg, who was a four-star recruit when he signed with UW, replaced Adams at left tackle but has moved inside to left guard.
The Huskies are hoping to get Adams back for the Sept. 1 season opener against Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
After a strong showing in Monday’s drills, Friday was a bit rougher for senior Jake Browning, who went 4-for-8 and threw an interception during the 11-on-11 situations. Redshirt freshman Jake Haener received quite a few reps for the second straight practice.
Haener went 7-for-12 in 11-on-11 and worked with a number of receivers and tight ends. Freshman Colson Yankoff threw the ball more Friday than he’s done all spring. UW’s used Yankoff and fellow true freshman Jacob Sirmon for hand-offs while mixing in a pass every now and again. Yankoff was 2-for-5 while Sirmon was 1-for-2 passing.
First team offense
UW still went with Browning, running backs Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and receivers Andre Baccellia, Aaron Fuller, Ty Jones, Hunter Bryant plus Drew Sample. The Huskies are using the same line combination of Roberts, Wattenberg, Nick Harris, Matt James and Kaleb McGary. Ahmed and Gaskin had some strong runs that went more than 5 or so yards. Gaskin, a Lynnwood native, and Ahmed also had a few receptions, too. Tailbacks Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant each had standout runs. McGrew broke off what looked to be about a 20-yard run when the team was inside the Dempsey Indoor to start practice.
Baccellia, Fuller and Jones had a few receptions, but most of those balls were on short to intermediate routes.
First team defense
They were the winners of the day for a few reasons. Let’s start with the defensive line. UW went with Ryan Bowman, Shane Bowman, Greg Gaines and Jaylen Johnson. Both of the Bowmans were all over the place. The offense went through a stretch where it solely ran the ball, and if Ryan Bowman wasn’t there with a stop for a loss, it was his brother. Shane Bowman, when Haener was under center, was in in the quarterback’s face immediately with a pressure and forced him into an incomplete pass.
A funny moment came when Lake Stevens graduate Jacob Eason was trying to get rid of the ball on a screen, only to have Ryan Bowman still get his hands on him. Eason fell, but Bowman picked him up and they was no ill will after the play.
Gaines and linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven combined to sack Browning. Jared Pulu, who has also worked with the first team this spring, continued to look strong as he also sacked Browning. Amandre Williams and Benning Potoa’e subbed in and out with the first team while Tevis Bartlett was still at inside linebacker.
Joyner is still out and Keith Taylor once again filled in. He was joined by Jojo McIntosh, Byron Murphy and Taylor Rapp. Browning and the offense had a feel for what the day would be like early on. On the first play, Browning dropped back to survey the field. He threw a pass, and Rapp came across the field from about 10 or so yards and made a clean pick. Taylor had his receiver covered so well, there was no chance for him to make a play on the ball and stop Rapp from getting the interception.