PULLMAN -- Matt Mullennix's seemingly snakebit career, on hold for a year due to a knee injury sustained earlier this week, poses big questions at one of the Cougs' least experienced spots. It triggers a far-reaching ripple and exacerbates the impact of junior Paul Stevens' indefinite suspension. Lance Broadus and Mike Graise are two of the Cougs who will now have to step up in a big way.
Mullennix, who was just starting to move his fingers following a hand break two weeks ago, came back to practice on Wednesday and proceeded to tear the
ACL in the opposite knee that cost him almost all of '04. The 6-7, 257-pound junior from Spangle was penned in as the Cougars' starting DE opposite Mkristo Bruce. He's out for the season, which means the focus immediately turns to unproven backups Lance Broadus (6-2, 226) and Mike Graise (6-3, 216).
The duo played in a combined 20 of 22 games last year, mostly on special teams. With those two now looking at prime time, and Broadus the likely starter, there's a chance true freshman Kevin Kooyman (6-5, 236) could be pressed into action, with classmates Preston Brooks (6-3, 245) and Ansley Jean-Jacques (6-3, 240) also in the mix.
Amazin' Graise, along with "Lance Broadway," a typo that appeared in a newspaper following Pac-10 Media Day, haven't completely escaped the injury bug themselves. Broadus had been slowed by a groin strain while Graise has battled a hip flexor. Both have since moved off the most recent injury list, released today.
The Cougars' depth concerns began just before fall camp opened when Stevens, a junior, was indefinitely suspended -- along with defensive tackle Odell Howard -- for unspecified reasons.
Other notable new names on today's injury report included that of Scott Friberg, listed as the No. 2 right offensive tackle on the depth chart, is out indefinitely with a hip and knee sprain.
Punter Fritz Brayton, who lost the starting battle to Darryl Blunt, announced he is transferring.
Friday’s session was a short one, as the team only went a few periods with the annual Fall Sports Banquet in Coeur d'Alene this evening. The day on the field, what there was of it, was spent on player and unit specific drills, as the particular squads were mostly huddled around their respective coaches.
The Medical Report from Washington State, released early Friday evening:
Out Indefinitely –Joe Eppele (8/16 shoulder sprain), Scott Friberg (8/22 hip/knee sprain), Arkelon Hall (8/12 fibula fracture), Grady Maxwell (8/11 knee surgery), Matt Mullennix (8/22 torn ACL), Andy Roof (8/11 thumb surgery), Jason Stripling (shoulder surgery recovery)
No Practice – Chris Baltzer (8/16 hamstring strain), Preston Brooks (8/23 hamstring strain), Skylar Jessen (8/11 hamstring strain), Justin Luafalemana (8/22 thumb surgery)
Limited –Michael Bumpus (8/16 knee sprain), Zach Enyeart (8/23 knee sprain), Micah Hannam (thigh bruise), Kevin Lopina (elbow muscle strain), Keith Rosenberg (foot strain), Toby Turpin (8/10 hand fracture)