Written By: Ryan Lippert
With a lot of promise coming into the 2018 college football season, the Washington Huskies have taken a major hit. All-American left tackle Trey Adams has suffered a back injury that could put him out for the entire season. According to a report from the Seattle Times, Adams underwent surgery, which will most likely sideline him for the entire 2018-19 season. With that being said, let’s take a look at how this injury will affect both Adams and the Huskies as a team.
What This Means For Adams
Coming into 2018, Adams was a consensus preseason All-American. The 6’8”, 315 pound left tackle was listed as a top prospect on many draft boards. Most draft experts have him as a top 10-15 pick in next year’s draft and the top offensive tackle available.
Unfortunately for Adams, this is not his first injury. Adams missed the second half of the 2017 season due to a torn ACL in his right knee. He had just returned to practice and things were looking up before he suffered the back injury. These injuries could be a red flag to a lot of teams during the draft process.
The good news for Adams is that he has a fifth year of eligibility left in 2019 if he decides he needs it. According to the report from the Seattle Times, that is a likely option. However, if I were Adams I would think the decision over carefully. Obviously, these injuries may hurt his draft stock, but if he were to come back next year and get hurt again it would hurt his stock even more.
What This Means For Washington
The Huskies entered the year ranked in the Top 10 in every poll. They were also thought to be one of the biggest contenders for the College Football Playoffs. In Week one, they suffered a tough loss to Auburn, 21-16. However, Auburn was also a highly ranked team, so it won’t hurt the Huskies too much.
Although it was still a close game, I believe Adams’ absence was felt in some cases. Junior offensive tackle Jared Hilbers made his first career start against the Tigers, so there was likely some rust and nervous energy involved in Hilber's play. Senior running back Myles Gaskin felt some of the effects as he was held to only 75 yards rushing and zero touchdowns. Senior quarterback Jake Browning also might feel some more pressure on his blindside with the loss of Adams. It didn’t seem to affect him too much against Auburn, as he still managed to throw for 296 yards and a touchdown. Both Browning and Gaskin are players that will be looked at heavily heading into the 2019 NFL Draft, so they will be relying on Hilbers to step up in a huge way.
I still believe that Washington has a chance to win the PAC-12 and have a very successful season. Hilbers had a great opportunity to play against some big-time competition in Week One and now he has an easier matchup to get situated into his new role against North Dakota. With more experience for Hilbers, playmakers like Browning and Gaskin on offense, and an outstanding defense, the Washington Huskies will still be a very exciting team to watch this year.