- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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Washington's offensive line took a big blow this week with the forced injury retirement of offensive guard Colin Porter, a two-year starter.
Here's the Seattle Times report, which notes "Porter is suffering from 'degenerative arthritis' in each of his shoulders." And, by the way, he played all last season, despite the condition. So, yeah, this is a tough guy here.
The Huskies were set up to have four returning starters on the line in 2012, losing only left tackle Senio Kelemete to graduation. Now that number is three, and there are other injury concerns, most particularly guard Colin Tanigawa, who tore his ACL at Oregon State on Nov. 19 and is questionable for the 2012 season. Further, right tackle Erik Kohler is nursing nagging injuries and is limited while playing second-team guard this spring.
That leaves just senior center Drew Schaefer manning his 2011 spot this spring.
When you add in the loss of RB Chris Polk, it's reasonable to wonder about the Huskies' running game in 2012.
Coach Steve Sarkisian is a big believer in a physical running game. The Huskies rushed 452 times last year, compared to 406 pass attempts. With junior QB Keith Price entering his second year as a starter, it's hard to believe those numbers won't at least reverse.
That, of course, means more exposure for Price to getting hit. The Huskies, despite a veteran line, gave up 34 sacks last year, which ranked 98th in the nation. You might recall that Price struggled with nagging injuries much of the 2011 season, in large part because of that spotty protection. Further, with the transfer of Nick Montana, the Huskies' backup QBs, which could end up being a true freshman, have no game experience.
So let's just say it would be a good thing for Washington for Tanigawa and Kohler to get healthy. And for some young guys to step up and show their stuff this spring.
1dDavid M. Hale