Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is optimistic that quarterback Joe Southwick could actually return to the lineup before the end of the regular season despite breaking his right ankle last Saturday against Nevada. Southwick had surgery on Monday afternoon and Petersen said that his quarterback could return within a "five-week window."
However, that five-week comment by Petersen was just speculation on his part. If Southwick is to return in five weeks it would be against San Diego State on Nov. 23. If he is healthy then Southwick could play in that game against the Azetcs, at home on senior day the following week against New Mexico and then possibly the Mountain West title game.
Five weeks seems extremely optimistic but as a commenter pointed out, there have been plenty of examples from Boise State players who came back to play sooner rather than later from a broken ankle.
Here is what out commenter marcsulf recalls from Boise State history of broken ankles:
On November 27, 2009, Austin Pettis broke his ankle in the Nevada game. On January 4, 2010, 38 days later, he played in the Fiesta Bowl against TCU. He recorded a key 4th down reception for a 1st down in the 2nd quarter at the TCU 20. That drive resulted in a Bronco field goal.
On September 7, 2002, Ryan Dinwiddie broke his ankle in the Arkansas game. On October 18, 2002, 41 days later, he entered the game in the second quarter against Fresno State. He went 19 of 22 for 406 yds and 5 TDs.
Joe broke his ankle on October 19. If we give him 42 days to recover from his injury, that means he should be able to return on November 30 for senior day at Bronco stadium against New Mexico. Given that he is a senior starting QB, and that would be his last chance to play on the Blue, I fully expect that will happen.
There is precedent for a player with a broken ankle to come back to finish the season. For now, it is just the waiting game to see how quickly Southwick can recover.
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