Harbaugh mum on Whalen status for No. 16 Stanford
Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh would not reveal any information
Tuesday about the injury that knocked star receiver Ryan Whalen out
of last week’s game against Wake Forest.
”I’m not going to tell you anything,” Harbaugh said when asked
about Whalen’s status at his weekly news conference. ”As soon as
we tell you, you tell Notre Dame. There’s no advantage to doing
Harbaugh has taken a tightlipped approach to injuries this
season, revealing as little information as possible in
That’s the same approach he is taking with Whalen, who appeared
to hurt his left arm while being tackled following a short catch in
last Saturday’s 68-24 victory over Wake Forest.
Whalen was not listed on the three-deep depth chart for the
16th-ranked Cardinal (3-0). But Harbaugh wouldn’t say anything
about his status for Saturday’s game at Notre Dame, saying it would
give the Fighting Irish a competitive advantage.
”I would want to know that about the status of every player on
their team, whether they’re going to play, what percent they are,
how many plays they’re going to play, how they’re going to be
used,” Harbaugh said. ”That’s valuable information.”
Whalen had 10 catches for 113 yards and one touchdown before
being sidelined. Whalen led the team with 57 catches for 926 yards
last year and has 109 career receptions for 1,558 yards and six
He provides even more intangible help to an offense that is
averaging 51.7 points and 475.3 yards per game this season.
”Whales is the leader on offense for us. He’s our captain,”
quarterback Andrew Luck said. ”He’s been there and done it all at
Stanford. It will be a serious blow if he’s out for a while. We
have guys who can step in and fill that role. He knows he’s going
to have to be out there coaching the guys up. Whatever happens I
think we’ll be fine.”
Cushioning any blow that Whalen’s absence would present was last
week’s healthy return of big-play receiver Chris Owusu, who missed
the first two games with a reported knee injury.
Owusu caught touchdown passes on his first two drives of the
season last week against Wake Forest. He turned his first reception
into an 8-yard score and also made a leaping 35-yard touchdown
catch later in the first quarter.
Owusu added a diving 22-yard catch over the middle as his speed
brings an added dimension to an already high-powered offense.
”It was great to get him into the mix early, get him a
touchdown, get him in the end zone,” Harbaugh said. ”It was
really good to have him back. He’s just one of our best players.
You try to put him in as many situations as you can for him to have
Owusu had five touchdown catches last year and also returned
three kicks for scores. He did not return kicks in his first game
back but Harbaugh said that could come soon as Stanford looks to
get him even more involved heading into the toughest stretch of the
”He has a lot of speed and explosiveness that adds a lot to the
offense,” Luck said. ”I don’ think the wide receiver corps was
lacking with him out, but he definitely brings the level of play
After visiting Notre Dame on Saturday, the Cardinal travel to
No. 5 Oregon next week and host No. 20 Southern California the