Preparing his team for a full-pads contact scrimmage on Saturday, Jimmy Lake sent his University of Washington football players through a short practice inside Husky Stadium.
It wasn't short enough.
In the space of five minutes on Friday, Lake had two players go down with injuries — All-Pac-12 outside linebacker Zion Tupuola-Fetui and reserve offensive lineman Will Pliska.
Before breaking off into a controlled no-contact scrimmage, Pliska was left prone on the artificial turf.
The 6-foot-5, 290-pound junior, who has appeared in one game in his Husky career, had to be helped off the field by two trainers, unable to put any weight on presumably an injured knee.
Pliska was examined on a bench and then driven in a cart to the locker room.
He had barely disappeared up the tunnel when the 6-foot-4, 280-pound Tupuola-Fetui, involved in the scrimmage plays now under way, came limping off the field in a hurry and nearly knocked over the training bench while trying to reach it.
He, too, was examined and taken away in a cart.
The UW doesn't address injuries with the media, but it appeared that Pliska came out in far worse shape and was in a lot more pain than the player known as ZTF.
Otherwise, the Husky defense again appeared to be farther along than the offense.
In a play that drew the biggest response of the morning session, sophomore defensive back Kamren Fabiculanan read the eyes of touted freshman quarterback Sam Huard and, in a full sprint coming the other way, made a dramatic interception.
Fabiculanan has enjoyed a productive camp so far while working at nearly every secondary position, with an emphasis on nickel back, according to defensive-backs coach Will Harris.
While the Friday workout was shorter than usual, there was still enough time for some of the Huskies to get into minor skirmishes.
Inside linebacker Daniel Heimuli and wide receiver Nick Juran exchanged healthy shoves, as did inside linebacker Drew Fowler and wide receiver Camden Verstrate, all short-fused sophomores.
Although contact was supposedly limited, starting inside linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio loudly cracked helmets with an offensive player and afterward stood and stiffened his body as he howled his delight over the exchange.
For an offensive moment, redshirt freshman wide receiver Sawyer Racanelli made a couple of difficult catches. On the first one, however, he made a nice effort to pull in the ball only to run a few steps and fumble it forward. A short time later, he stuck a hand up to deflect an overthrown pass to himself and catch it on the run.
Following the workout, Lake stood at midfield and addressed his players who were all down on one knee. For several minutes he spoke to them, drawing various loud responses. No doubt he was preparing them for Saturday's first live scrimmage.
The second-year Husky head coach had made a couple of public pleas for fans to come out, sit in the sunshine and watch his veteran team in action. The two-hour practice and scrimmage begins at 10:30 a.m.
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