Posted by Bob Condotta
Washington's two-game winning streak to end 2009, by a combined score of 72-10 over WSU and Cal, also coincided with the re-introduction of Everrette Thompson into the starting lineup on the defensive line.
Those two games marked two of the three that Thompson started in 2009.
Thompson figured he'd pick up where he left off in 2010 until a February conditioning drill when he backpedaled and felt a thud.
"I thought I hit a cone or something in the drill,'' he said. "But I turned around and the cone was still there. That's when my Achilles blew out."
That caused Thompson to miss spring practice, and put his 2010 season in doubt --- as well as throw into question UW's defensive end position, where Thompson figured to help fill the void created by the graduation of Daniel Te'o-Nesheim.
Thompson thought initially that he might have to sit out the season --- he has a redshirt year available after playing as a true freshman in 2008. But his rehab, he says, has gone about as well as hoped. And Saturday, he got about 5-7 snaps in UW's scrimmage, his first scrimmage-action of the year.
"It felt good just to be back out there with the fellas and just playing a little bit,'' he said.
He was then reminded that two weeks from that scrimmage, the Huskies will open the season at BYU. Will he be ready?
"That's the goal right there,'' he said with a smile. "I think I can make a difference in the game. So that's what I'm looking forward to.''
Nobody expects that Thompson would be able to play every down in two weeks. But UW coach Steve Sarkisian has said from the start he thinks it is realistic that Thompson could play enough to make a difference this year, serving in a rotation at defensive end.
Thompson said a couple times during an interview after the scrimmage Saturday that he doesn't want to put a percent on where he is in his rehab, or predict exactly how much he may be able to play later, because he doesn't want to "jinx anything.''
"Right now Im just taking it on a day-by-day basis,'' he said. "I'm not sure (exactly where he is in his rehab). I feel good right now.''
Thompson said he felt none worse for the wear after playing in Saturday's scrimmage and hopes he can increase his play in the next two weeks.
"That's what I'm doing right now, just taking what I did today and just build off of that,'' he said. "Get stronger every day in practice.''
Thompson said the injury initially impact his off-season workout regimen and that he lost a little weight. But he says he's at about 250 right now --- he's listed at 244 after being listed at 255 last season.
He said he remembers the feeling of the Cal game and how he thought that might be signalling a breakout.
"That's what I felt like, that I would be a starter coming in to this season,'' he said. "Unfortunately I had a little setback. But I'm in the thick of things, so I'm doing well with the team, and my rehab is coming along. I'll be ready for the season.''