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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

WSU wideout Victor, tight end Mathers on the mend for road matchup with No. 9 Oregon

Washington State Cougars wide receiver Lincoln Victor (5) shakes hands with quarterback Cameron Ward (1) as time runs out against the Arizona Wildcats during the second half of a college football game on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, at Gesa Field in Pullman, Wash. Arizona won the game 44-6.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Washington State may be sliding in the win-loss ledger, but the Cougars are on the mend in another way.

Wide receiver Lincoln Victor, who missed nearly two games with a high-ankle injury and returned for last Saturday’s game against Arizona, is about 90-95% healthy, according to head coach Jake Dickert.

That puts him on track to play more snaps Saturday, when Washington State visits No. 9 Oregon for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff.

“I think he’s had two really good days of practice,” Dickert said on Wednesday. “Finished all the way through in the red zone area today. I think we’ll get him by Saturday really close to where he’s at, but not quite 100%.”

Victor left in the first quarter of WSU’s win over Oregon State back on Sept. 23, then missed the entirety of his club’s loss to UCLA on Oct. 7. He returned Saturday, catching four passes for 20 yards, playing 28 snaps in total


“You just feel like he was at a different speed out there,” Dickert said. “I mean that. When he comes in the game, he raises the level of everybody else around him.”

Also headed in the right direction for WSU is tight end Cooper Mathers, who missed the UCLA and Arizona games with a hamstring injury. Coaches limited his activity in Wednesday’s practice, Dickert said, “but he made it through.”

The Cougars could use the return of Mathers, a 6-foot-2 versatile player who gives them a pass-catching option they don’t have with other tight ends. In his absence, WSU has been starting Billy Riviere III, who caught one pass for 6 yards against Arizona.

If Mathers and Victor could return Saturday, WSU might have a better chance at reviving its offense, which was held to just six points against Arizona. The Cougars need to run the ball, the main source of their offensive struggles, but two more receivers getting healthy would likely help.