Arizona coach Mike Stoops said the knee injury to Nick Foles is not season-ending and the star quarterback’s status will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
Stoops would not talk about the injury in detail at his Monday news conference but said Foles has gone home to Austin, Texas, to have the knee re-examined and for ”a couple of days” of therapy.
”He’ll keep in touch. He’s optimistic,” Stoops said, ”and you know Nick will come back stronger than ever, and he’ll come back as well as he can.”
Foles, ranked second nationally in completion percentage (75.3), will not play when the 15th-ranked Wildcats (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10) host Washington on Saturday night.
”I’ll know next Monday what the likelihood of his earliest return would be,” Stoops said. ”He’ll be back when he’s ready. It’s not a season-ending injury. We anticipate him back. We’ll know how he reacts to certain treatment throughout the week.”
The Pac-10 passing leader who entered the game racking up 306 yards per contest, Foles was injured less than a minute into the second quarter of Saturday’s 24-7 victory at Washington State when the Cougars’ Travis Long rolled into the quarterback’s right leg after a completed pass.
After the game, Stoops called the injury a sprain. The coach was optimistic about how the knee had responded over the weekend.
”He’s responded well in the 24 hours since this occurred,”’ Stoops said. ”It looks like he is going to mend well. I’m hoping he is going to mend quickly and we get him back on the field.”
Junior Matt Scott will start in Foles’ place. Scott, known more for his running ability than his throwing, started the first three games last season before Foles took over.
Stoops praised the way Scott has responded since the quarterback switch was made in the game at Iowa last season.
”His attitude has never been a distraction, and that is a positive,” the coach said. ”We tried to give him more opportunities, but the games haven’t presented those scenarios to keep him sharp and keep him involved.”
Stoops called Scott ”a very talented player.”
”There is nothing he can’t do,” Stoops said. ”He has a great arm, great feet, and has gotten to where he can make the right decisions. And that is a credit to him. We feel very comfortable with Matt and are excited to watch him play. … Matt is a guy who I said all along we can win at the highest level with.”
Foles, a 6-foot-5 junior who transferred from Michigan State, has completed 143 of 190 passes for 1,600 yards and nine touchdowns with five interceptions. Only Dan Persa of Northwestern has a better completion percentage at 78 percent (138 of 177).
Scott has completed 67 percent (22 of 33) for 220 yards and a touchdown with one interception.
After they face the Huskies, Arizona is at UCLA then faces a brutal stretch at Stanford, at home against USC and at Oregon before finishing its regular season at home against Arizona State.