Abraham Lucas and Liam Ryan were reliable pillars bookending the Washington State line last season, with 84 starts between them across four years. With both exiting the program this offseason, the Cougars will welcome two new starting tackles to the line this upcoming season.

One of those spots was expected to be manned by Ma’ake Fifita. A starter at guard last season, the fourth-year sophomore had kicked out to right tackle and was working with the top group in practice. He suffered a lower-body injury on Friday, according to The Spokesman-Review’s Colton Clark and had to be carted off the field.

A 6-foot-5, 305-pound lineman from Everett, Washington, Fifita showed improvement throughout the season last year as he solidified himself on the line. After seeing at least 40 offensive snaps only once in the team’s first nine games, he topped 40 in each of the Cougars’ final four games.

Settling the rebuilt offensive line is certainly a priority for offensive coordinator Eric Morris during camp. Washington State has a dynamic quarterback in Cameron Ward looking to lead the program to an improvement over last season’s seven-win campaign, so keeping him upright is a must. The Cougs gave up 31 sacks in 13 games a year ago.

An injured starter so early in camp will be something the group will have to find a way to work around. This will be something to keep an eye on going forward.