Jake Locker Fractures Rib, Will Not Play Against Oregon

Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Locker has fractured at least one rib and will not play against the Oregon Ducks. For more on the Huskies, check out SB Nation's UW Dawg Pound.

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Jim Harbaugh Skeptical Of Jake Locker Injury

The official word out of Montlake is that Jake Locker had a hairline fracture before Washington's game against the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday that turned into a fracture after a few big hits during the game. One Pac-10 coach, however, sounds skeptical of the diagnosis. Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, never one to shy away from stirring the pot, had a curious comment on the Pac-10 coaches conference call earlier today, wondering how bad Locker was actually hurt.

ESPN Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller was on the call and passed along Harbaugh's comments.

odd comment from harbaugh: When asked about if he knew Locker had a broken rib on Sat., he said, "I still don't know if that's true."less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Harbaugh hasn't hid his apparent dislike for the Husky coaching staff. After the game, he was overheard  yelling to his team, screaming "dominating" and praising his team for kicking the Huskies around the field. According to the Seattle Times' Bud Withers, he also added this:

"What are you guys, 5-1, 6-1 against that group (in his four-year tenure)? That's the highest-paid coaching staff around!"

So is there reason to be skeptical of the broken rib diagnosis? Doubtful. Watching Locker hobbled around in pain for the last few weeks, it was apparent something was wrong. Before the Huskies played Arizona, Locker added heavy padding around his ribs in addition to the standard flak jacket. Since then, he's continued to take repeated shots from opposing linemen.

In the end, it's just Harbaugh being Harbaugh. What's your deal?

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Jake Locker Previously Had Hairline Rib Fracture

Washington quarterback Jake Locker underwent X-rays after the Stanford game, revealing he's suffered a rib fracture. The pound he took against the Cardinal took a toll on ribs that were already battered, bruised and partially broken before the Huskies even took the field. After the Arizona game, when Locker was wearing a heavy amount of padding around his ribs, the Husky medical staff knew he had a hairline fracture in his ribs, but it worsened as the game went on last Saturday.

The Seattle PI's Todd Dybas tweeted the news from Steve Sarkisian's press conference.

Hits against Stanford elevated injury from hairline fracture to break. Prior, it was cartilage injury.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

With any rib injury, the decision on whether to play or not rests with the injured. A hairline fracture or cartilage injury can cause a tremendous amount of pain. Locker apparently decided he could play through it and did against the Cardinal, though he aggravated the injury and ended up with a full-on fracture.

How the break is and how much pain Locker can tolerate will determine his timetable for a return. He's played through an incredible amount of pain, both this year and in years past, and has shown the ability to play through pain. In reality, the injury isn't that much worse than a cartilage injury or bruise to the ribs, no matter how bad cracked ribs sounds.

For the Huskies, a loss at Oregon forces them to win out to become bowl eligible. They face three winnable games -- in Cal, UCLA and WSU -- on the back end of their season, giving them a chance to run the table and make a bowl in Locker's final year. Without their leader on the field, the Washington Huskies season is teetering on the brink, with the high hopes for the final part of the schedule resting on Locker's ribs at this point.

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