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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.