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QB Jeff Tuel cleared for Cougars

10/12/2011

Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel has been cleared to play on Saturday against Stanford, the school announced in a news release.

Tuel, who fractured his left clavicle in the season-opening victory over Idaho State, met with team physicians Wednesday morning and was cleared to play with no restrictions.

Will he return to his starting job and replace Marshall Lobbestael, who's been outstanding in his stead? Not likely as coach Paul Wulff said Tuesday that Lobbestael would start. Will he at least play? Maybe.

From the release: "Wulff noted that Tuel’s role in Saturday’s Homecoming Game against Stanford will be a game time decision."

In other words, Wulff either hasn't decided or feels no need to enlighten anyone outside the program. Which strikes me as perfectly reasonable.

This is an interesting observation from Cougcenter:

... he's not the same Jeff Tuel right now. Watching him throw in practice, he's just off. Not drastically, but enough to be noticeable. His touch, accuracy and throwing motion aren't quite where they were before the injury, which is to be expected. After all, he's only been throwing in pads, and in earnest, for about two weeks.

What I can't tell is how much can be attributed to rust and how much is a throwing motion that just looks different. Against, it's not drastically different, it's just different. And part of it may be from the motion itself.

Tuel plays a nuanced position. Just because he's been medically cleared doesn't mean he is back to 100 percent.

Wulff's task is simple. Use the guy who gives you the best chance to win. Tuel at 100 percent is that guy. But Tuel at 80 percent no longer is, based on the way Lobbestael has played.