Short recovery time is silver lining to UW QB Jake Browning’s surgery

Jan 18, 2017, 2:38 PM
Jake Browning's numbers took a turn in the final four games after suffering a reported shoulder inj...
Jake Browning's numbers took a turn in the final four games after suffering a reported shoulder injury. (AP)
LISTEN: Seattle Times Husky football reporter Adam Jude on Jake Browning's surgery

A few weeks after Washington coach Chris Petersen revealed on 710 ESPN Seattle that Huskies quarterback Jake Browning wasn’t 100 percent late in the season, The Seattle Times’ Adam Jude broke the story Tuesday that Browning has undergone surgery on his right (throwing) shoulder.

Jude joined “Brock and Salk” Wednesday to shed more light on the injury that, in hindsight, had a pretty big effect on Browning’s sophomore season.

The fact that Browning’s injury required surgery may not sound all that encouraging, but the silver lining is that Jude reports his recovery time is expected to be just six weeks.

“I know it’s a six-week recovery process,” Jude said. “The fact that they let him play through it, he felt like he could play through it, I think is probably a pretty good sign. And again, when you’re talking about a six-week recovery program, it doesn’t sound too extensive, too intensive.”

News of the injury first came up Jan. 5 when Petersen responded to a question from Brock Huard about Browning’s arm strength seeming to wane in the second half of the year.

“He was fighting through some things as the season went on because he’s a tough guy,” Petersen said. “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.”

With Browning’s experience and knowledge of UW’s system, the Huskies should have the benefit of not needing to push him to come back from his injury quickly.

“Now he’s a two-year starter, he’s a Heisman Trophy candidate, it’s not something they need to push him here this offseason, either. I think the No. 1 priority, obviously, for this offense is to get Jake Browning healthy again, get his arm right, sorta build for 2017,” Jude said.

According to Jude, Browning initially hurt the shoulder against Arizona State on Nov. 19, which was a 44-18 victory for the Huskies but certainly wasn’t Browning’s best performance. He completed 27 of 44 passes and 338 yards and two touchdowns, but he was also picked off twice – notable considering he’d thrown just five interceptions in the 10 games up to that point.

“He wasn’t particularly sharp that game,” Jude said. “I think we know why now.”

Unfortunately for Dawg fans, that doesn’t provide an excuse for Washington’s lone loss of the regular season, which was a 26-13 defeat at the hands of USC a week before the Arizona State game. Browning was just 17 for 36 for 259 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in that game, but his shoulder apparently had nothing to do with it.

The bum shoulder did make an impact in the final four games of the year, though. He was sharp early in the Apple Cup on Nov. 25 but not so much in the second half, and he struggled in the Pac-12 championship game against Colorado and the College Football Playoff semifinal Peach Bowl against Alabama.

“You knew something at that point had been bothering him,” Jude said.

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