Jake Browning wasn’t quite himself in Washington’s final two games of the 2016 college football season and there might have been a pretty good reason. The talented quarterback completed only 29 of 62 passes for less than 300 yards combined in the Pac-12 Championship win over Colorado and the College Football Playoff loss to Alabama, but it appears that Browning was playing through a significant shoulder injury.
Adam Jude of the Seattle Times brings word that Browning actually underwent surgery on his right (throwing) shoulder and that a six-week timetable for recovery is in the works. The report indicates that the injury took place in a Nov. 19 win over Arizona State, meaning that Browning completed three full games while dealing with the ailment.
For some additional context, Washington head coach Chris Petersen had this to say, under the veil of cover, to the “Brock and Salk” show on 710 ESPN Seattle previously when prompted about Browning’s late-season play:
“I do think he was fighting through some things as the season went on because he’s a tough guy. We had to do some things. Let me say this: We’ve got some tough kids on our team. Those kids, they fight through some things, and we don’t talk about who’s hurt and all this stuff, but Jake’s a tough kid and I’ll just say that. He fought through some stuff.”
Given the six-week timetable, Browning should be able to return in time for Spring Practice and he is certainly one of the better returning signal-callers in the country. The Huskies lose a great deal to graduation and early entry to the NFL, but Washington’s overall talent level under Peterson has grown exponentially and expectations will be high with Browning returning for 2017.
It is certainly fair to critique Browning’s performance under the the brightest lights that college football has to offer, but injuries matter and he’ll have the opportunity to shine yet again in the Fall.