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Injured Safety Alex Cook Leaves Tucson Hospital, Accompanies Huskies Home

Shorthanded UW was missing five key players before it lost the junior defensive back.

Washington starting free safety Alex Cook, taken off the field in a stretcher and transported to a Tucson hospital on Friday night after suffering what appeared to be a head injury, was able to rejoin the team and fly home, coach Jimmy Lake said following the game.

Cook, a junior from Sacramento who opened all but the Montana game, appeared to catch a knee in the helmet late in the first quarter. He couldn't get to his feet on his own power, bringing medical personnel rushing to him as he lay face down at Arizona Stadium.

"There are still some tests to be run," Lake said. "But we think that's the most positive news we could receive, with him being able to come back with us."

Cook later posted a positive update on his Instagram account, thanking those close to him for their concern.

The player absences were significant for the Huskies for this Arizona game, which they pulled out 21-16 with a fourth-quarter comeback, with five key players not making the trip to Tucson.

Lake, who gave no hint this week that he would be shorthanded in certain positions, offered a blanket response that all of the missing were injured in the UCLA game and he  hoped that they would be able to return soon. The coach indicated he intended to further address their situations in his Monday press briefing.

Appearing in his second game since coming back from an Achilles tear, sophomore outside linebacker Zion Tupuola-Fetui played more snaps than the 10 he received against UCLA. He came up with his first sack of the season, dropping Arizona quarterback Will Plummer for a 12-yard loss in the opening quarter. 

"I expect him to have more against Stanford," Lake said of ZTF's projected number of plays for the next game. 

Zion Tupuola-Fetui had his first sack of the season at Arizona.

Zion Tupuola-Fetui got his first sack of the season against Arizona.

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The MIAs were returning first-team All-Pac-12 offensive tackle Jaxson Kirkland, leading tackler Edefuan Ulofoshio, starting defensive tackle Sam Taimani, former starting tailback Richard Newton and one-time first-unit strong safety Cameron Williams.

In place of Kirkland, who was a 35-game starter, 6-foot-4, 310-pound redshirt freshman Troy Fautanu made his first career start. All along, he's been the heir apparent when Kirkland finally enters the NFL draft.

Ulofoshio, a returning second-team All-Pac-12 selection, was banged up earlier in the season and came off the bench against Arkansas State. This time, he missed the Arizona game in its entirety. Each time, redshirt freshman Daniel Heimuli replaced him as the starter. Heimuli had 8 tackles against the Wildcats.

Taimani missed the game after starting 10 games in a row over two seasons and he was replaced in the opening lineup by true freshman Voi Tunuufi, who made his first start. The first-year player had a lone tackle.

Williams, a two-game starter, was replaced for the second consecutive game by sophomore Asa Turner, who might have had his best Husky game. Turner logged a team-leading 9 tackles and closed out the game with an interception, the fourth of his career. 

Newton, who started the first three games, came in for a solitary play against UCLA and caught a pass for 9 yards. Described as banged up, he missed his fourth game by sitting out against Arizona. 

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