Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a preseason All-America at tight end shown here at practice last week, has a broken little finger on his right hand and will be out “quite a while,” coach Steve Sarkisian said Tuesday.
The first major, impacting injury of preseason camp has hit the Huskies — with perhaps their best, most-accomplished player: record-setting tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has a fractured little finger on his right hand, putting in doubt his status for UW’s opener Aug. 31 against Boise State.
"Austin’s going to be out for quite a while," coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He actually has a small fracture in his pinkie there that’s actually going to require surgery. So he’s going to be out for a little … some amount of time.”
The junior was the only underclassman finalist last season for the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end.
Seferian-Jenkins, an Associated Press third-team All-America in 2012 as a sophomore, was named this month as a preseason All-America by The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. He appeared to injure the finger late in Monday night’s practice while trying to catch a pass near the sideline from Keith Price in the second practice of the day. He was examined by trainers and a team doctor then went up the tunnel leading from the Husky Stadium field with them. He returned to the sideline a few minutes later.
Tuesday, he was in full uniform and his purple, 88 jersey. He did some warmup drills, then watched entirely from the offense’s sideline as the Huskies completed their first full scrimmage of the preseason.
"He won’t be catching balls here for a little while," Sarkisian said.
Asked if ASJ would be out weeks, Sarkisian said, “I don’t know, quite honestly. I’m hopeful it’s days. I really don’t know.”
When I asked if this was an injury that Price’s top passing target could play through with a cast on the end of his right hand, Sarkisian said, “Again, I’ll know more towards the end of the week, quite honestly.
"I really don’t know."
ASJ isn’t like an offensive or defensive lineman who could potentially ward off opponents with a cast at the bottom of his hand. It would conceivably be extremely difficult — not to mention painful and potentially damaging to the fixes a surgery will make — to catch passes with the ball continuously banging off a cast.
So we’ll see if UW has it’s huge, 6-foot-6 red-zone threat for Boise State, after all.
More later on the scrimmage here on the blog, and on GoHuskies.com.