SEATTLE – Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins returned Friday. Sort of.
A day after having surgery on his right pinkie, Seferian-Jenkins was back dressed at practice. He had a protective sheath on his right hand and conducted several conversations during practice.
Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian said Seferian-Jenkins had a clean break of his pinkie and that there was no ligament damage. He also said the break was not at the knuckle. He was not clear about a timeline for Seferian-Jenkins’ return.
“I’m going to kind of take it day-to-day and see how this thing responds,” Sarkisian said. “I really don’t know.”
When asked if Seferian-Jenkins could play with a cast on, Sarkisian said: “I haven’t gotten that far. He had surgery (Thursday). We’ll see.”
Washington quarterback Keith Price was a little more upbeat about the possible swift return of Seferian-Jenkins.
“He told me, ‘I could play today, if I really wanted,’ ” Price said. “I told him, ‘Hey man, there’s no need to do that.’ He’s an extremely hard worker and I know that he’ll be back with us.”
Seferian-Jenkins is a preseason All-American who was second on the team in receptions last year and holds almost every school receiving record among tight ends. The opener against Boise State is just two weeks away.
Gonzaga Prep product Bishop Sankey is the unquestioned No. 1 running back for the Huskies after picking up 1,439 yards last season, third-most in school history. Question is who will be his backup.
Sarkisian has touted and used redshirt freshman Dwayne Washington in that role. Washington is a much different frame than Sankey. Sankey is built more like a tank at 5-foot-10 and 203 pounds. Washington is much longer at 6-1 and 220.
Washington was a wide receiver who was running too straight up last year. He used his redshirt season to learn how to lower his pad level and improve gap reading.
“Bishop is smaller and quicker,” Washington said. “But, we’re both fast.”
The Huskies are still trying to figure out what they can get from Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper, who are each coming off ACL tears. Cooper has worked with the second unit often in camp, including when Washington was out for three practices after linebacker Princeton Fuimaono whacked him last Saturday.
Former Washington coach Rick Neuheisel was in Husky Stadium on Friday as part of a conference campus tour put together by the Pac-12 Network, where he’s an analyst.
Neuheisel was his usual smooth, eloquent self when discussing everything from the renovated stadium, “I feel bad for Boise State,” to his controversial tenure as the Huskies head coach.
Neuheisel said his biggest regret is the large mess that ended his time as coach at Washington. He said his best memory was seeing Curtis Williams in the locker room at the 2001 Rose Bowl. Williams was paralyzed from the neck down after a helmet-to-helmet collision in the 2000 season during a game against Stanford.