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Joe Southwick injury update: Boise State QB practices first time since breaking ankle

Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick practiced for the first time since breaking his ankle, yet his status to return is still a question.

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Boise State could have a quarterback controversy heading into the final weeks of the season. Starting quarterback Joe Southwick was on the sideline of the Wyoming game and throwing passes, albeit in jeans, and on Monday he returned to practice.

Heading into the Wyoming game head coach Chris Peteresen told the media it is too early to tell what Southwick's status will be once he is healthy:

"I'm not going to sit here three weeks out or whatever we are and say this is what's going to happen," Petersen said. "A lot happens, we know, in this game in one day, let alone weeks. Grant's our guy. We're going with him. We'll see when Joe gets back and go from there."

Southwick broke his ankle on the first play against Nevada back on Oct. 19, and speculation that Southwick could return just five weeks after surgery. One month after the injury Southwick was practicing, but Peteresen said that Southwick is not cleared but once he is there will be a roll for him on the team.

Today's date is Nov. 18 and that is four weeks after the injury and three-and-a-half after surgery; if Southwick is back on the field that means his return could be sooner than later. In our Week 12 podcast recap we discussed briefly on what Boise State would do if Southwick was healthy to play. The thoughts we had revolved around how much practice time Southwick would have before he could have the chance to reclaim his starting role.

Having two quarterbacks is a great problem for Boise State to have as Grant Hedrick is playing well with a 3-1 record under center, which includes the Nevada game where he took over during the Broncos first drive of the game.

There is no way Southwick to play this Saturday against San Diego State, for one he is not cleared and the second is that there is no reason to push him back in the lineup going up against a rapidly improving Aztec squad. The New Mexico game on Nov. 30 would be six weeks after the injury and that could be a key date for Southwick's return.

Southwick is doing all he can do play in his final games at Boise State, but the decision will come down to the coaches who will want to know how healthy Southwick is plus they need to figure in what quarterback gives the team the best chance to win since Hedrick is playing well.

Petersen and the offensive coaching staff will have to make the tough call in the next few weeks to decide who will be their quarterback under center. The decision is always tough but Boise State is on their way to a conference title game, and that adds even more pressure to the decision.

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