Arizona Wildcats quarterback Matt Scott suffered a concussion in last weekend's loss to UCLA, and is questionable to play in Saturday's homecoming game against Colorado.
Athletic director Greg Byrne and coach Rich Rodriguez updated Scott's health status - and that of injured linebacker Hank Hobson (neck) - during Monday's news conference on campus. Both were injured in Saturday's 66-10 loss to the Bruins.
Byrne cited "the nature of the injuries, and the attention they've drawn - specifically with Matt" as his reasons for addressing Scott and Hobson's conditions specifically.
Byrne talked to both players Monday morning, and received their permissions to discuss the specifics of their injuries.
Scott was injured as he tried to drive Arizona out of its own end zone in Saturday's third quarter. The quarterback was hit as he threw; his head glanced off a UCLA defender's leg before hitting the turf. Scott was immediately pulled from the game, and replaced by backup B.J. Denker.
Denker, a junior transfer from Cerritos (Calif.) College, will start Saturday if Scott is not cleared to play. In five games, Denker has rushed 12 times for 30 yards and completed 13 of 23 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. He has been intercepted once.
"We have all the confidence in B.J.," center Kyle Quinn said.
Hobson was carted off the field with what Rodriguez called a "nerve issue" in his neck after collapsing while chasing a fourth-quarter play. Hobson was strapped to a stretcher and taken to a Los Angeles-area hospital, where he spent Saturday night before returning to Tucson on Sunday.
Hobson has suffered a similar injury before. There's no timetable for his return, Rodriguez said.
"Hank'll be fine," Rodriguez said. "We just don't know how long it'll be."
Rodriguez and Byrne both reiterated that Scott did not suffer a concussion in Arizona's Oct. 27 win over USC. The Wildcats' quarterback vomited on the field during the game and was pulled for the team's final drive.
But Scott, Rodriguez and Byrne all said the quarterback was experiencing nausea all afternoon before the hit. Scott passed numerous tests during the week, and was officially cleared to play after being tested and evaluated Friday.
The UA will update the statuses of both Scott and Hobson on Thursday, when the team issues its weekly injury report.
"Matt will be observed and evaluated daily," Byrne said. "The final decision on whether he'll play will be made by our medical staff."
Scott has been the Pac-12's most prolific quarterback as a senior, throwing for 2,848 yards and 20 touchdowns. Scott's 357.44 yards of total offense per game are fourth-best in the country.
Scott could play Saturday, even if he doesn't practice during the week. Rodriguez typically requires players to practice on the Wednesday before games before he'll start them, but said upperclassmen like Scott could be exceptions.
"I think Matt can play well without a whole lot of reps," he said. "But that's all hypothetical, and I'm not thinking about that right now."
The Wildcats have tapered down their contact in practices, in part to deal with a never-ending rash of injuries.
The team holds an informal "walk-through" every Sunday, and practices full speed - but not full contact - during the school-week.
"Our quarterbacks don't ever get hit during the week anyway," Rodriguez said. "We're doing very little hitting nowadays as a team."
McKale fire update
Arizona's equipment staff worked all night Sunday and all day Monday to fix some of the damage caused during a fire at McKale Center on Saturday night. The fire started in the equipment room, Byrne said; the cause of the fire and cost of the damage are not yet known.
The fire also affected the baseball and swimming locker rooms that share a wall with the equipment room, Byrne said. Parts of McKale still smelled like smoke Monday.
"We're talking to Nike and the other equipment providers and figuring out what we can wash and reuse, and what needs to be replaced," Byrne said.
• Arizona can become bowl-eligible by beating the Buffaloes Saturday, an accomplishment Rodriguez calls "a nice goal."
Most prognosticators have Arizona playing in the Las Vegas, Fight Hunger or New Mexico Bowls.
A postseason game - even a minor one - would be a major accomplishment for a program that went 4-8 a year ago.
"We all told Coach Rod when he got here, we didn't want to be home for the holidays," Quinn said. "We wanted to be out there representing the school."
• Richard Morrison may not continue as Arizona's punt returner after fumbling against UCLA. Jonathan McKnight and a handful of other players could take over for Morrison if he's benched for this week's game, Rodriguez said.
• The Pac-12 is expected to set a start time and broadcast channel for Arizona's Nov. 17 game atUtah sometime today.
The league typically makes its kickoff times and channel selection on Mondays, but decided to wait a day.
• Who: Colorado (1-8, 1-5) at Arizona (5-4, 2-4)
• When 11:30 a.m., Saturday
• TV; radio: FX; 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)