BY Todd Dybas 10:46AM 11/16/2010

Locker: ‘I expect to play’

Whether or not Locker actually does play against UCLA in his final home game will be determined on Tuesday morning by the Washington medical staff.

Huskies quarterback Jake Locker will find out Tuesday if he can play in Thursday's home finale. (Drew Sellers/Sports Press Northwest)

Jake Locker’s status for Thursday night’s ESPNfest is still fractured.

Locker began practicing on Saturday and has continued his participation since. He moved well enough to cause Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian to be “encouraged” following Monday night’s wind-blown practice. Locker said he “expects to play” on senior night. The senior quarterback will have his cracked rib assessed on Tuesday morning. Then, finally, an answer.

“I feel real good,” Locker said. “Any time you have to sit out and watch it’s tough.”

Sarkisian has moved Locker around in the pocket during practice. The coach said it’s important for him and the doctors to see Locker involved in regular situations, not just reduced, protective settings. The one unknown is how he will respond to a hit.

Adding to the drama, should Locker play, it will be his final home game in Husky Stadium. Against Rick Neuheisel. With meager hopes of a bowl game needing a win. On national television.

“It’s kind of weird to think about playing my last game here,” Locker said. “But it’s another game in the season and that’s how we’ve got to approach it. We can’t let the emotions and everything else everybody else will put on this game and make it more important than it is.

“It’s a football game we need to win to keep our season alive and have the opportunity to keep going after our 12th game.”

If Locker does not play, the 41-0 loss to Stanford will stand as his final home performance.


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