Washington State coach Jake Dickert updates status of injured offensive lineman
A previously reported injury to expected starting right tackle Ma’ake Fifita doesn’t appear to be serious.
According to The Spokesman-Review’s Colton Clark, Washington State head coach Jake Dickert told reporters on Monday that the Cougars’ training staff feels “comfortable” Fifita will be available for the team’s season-opener on against Idaho on Sept. 3. He’s currently wearing a boot to manage what Dickert termed a lower-leg injury.
Injury update on #WSU RT Ma'ake Fifita and edge Raam Stevenson:
"We feel comfortable that Ma'ake, lower-leg injury, will be back for the first game," Dickert said. "Hopefully, we'll get him out of a boot here next week and get him rolling back through some light stuff. … https://t.co/DKdoRiGsGf
— Colton Clark (@SpokesmanClark) August 8, 2022
A starter at guard last season, the fourth-year sophomore had kicked out to right tackle and was working with the Cougs’ top offensive line grouping in practice before he had to be carted off the field this past Friday.
A 6-foot-5, 305-pound lineman from Everett, Washington, Fifita showed improvement throughout the season last year as he solidified himself up front. 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.
The Cougars need to replace longtime pillars at tackle this offseason after departures from Liam Ryan and Abraham Lucas. 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. It’ll need Fifita healthy.
Dickert’s optimism is a good sign.