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USC's Washington wants to return
Nonetheless, Washington said he intends to play in the Trojans’ next game, Sept. 15 at Nebraska.
“Unless something tragic happens at practice, I’ll be out there,” he said.
If Washington does return — and regain his starting job — the Trojans will again have a tailback glut.
The running game was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lackluster 38-10 victory against Idaho. C.J. Gable started and carried eight times for 68 yards. Stafon Johnson carried 12 times for 64 yards.
USC coach Pete Carroll said he hasn’t determined if he will use a three-tailback rotation against Nebraska, which has a far tougher run defense than Idaho’s.
Carroll said Nebraska looked good “in all phases,” of a 52-10 romp over Nevada that moved them up four spots, to No. 16, in the latest Associated Press poll.
“I’m pretty noncommittal on that stuff and we’ve got to get him back first,” Carroll said.
Washington said he intends to return for contact drills on next Tuesday. He wouldn’t speculate about what his role will be.
“I’m coming back out here to compete,” Washington said. “We’ll see what happens from there.”
One injury that shouldn’t be a problem against Nebraska is linebacker Brian Cushing’s sprained left ankle. Cushing didn’t need an air cast on Tuesday and said he expects to be practicing by early next week.
“In my mind, I have to play against Nebraska,” Cushing said. “I definitely think I’m ready for it, too. Doctors told me Monday I should be a go.”
Cushing said an Idaho player hit him from behind and rolled his leg, but he declined to call it a dirty play.
“Whether it was or it wasn’t, it happened,” Cushing said. “There’s nothing I can really do about it. It’s not like we’ll play Idaho again and I can figure out who did it to me.”
Sixth-year senior Hershel Dennis has been cleared by team doctors for full participation in practice after missing all of fall camp, but he said he is unlikely to be ready for the Nebraska game.
“I was a little hesitant, but it felt good,” Dennis said. …
Backup quarterback Mark Sanchez had a splint removed from his fractured right thumb and spent practice throwing a small, foam football. He will test the thumb Thursday or Friday with a real ball, Carroll said, and could be available against Nebraska. …
Tailback Marc Tyler returned to practice, though he appears likely to redshirt this season. Another freshman who figures to redshirt, Broderick Green, underwent surgery Tuesday for a stress fracture in his foot. …
Linebacker Rey Maualuga got his first haircut since he arrived at USC three seasons ago.
“Just trying to change things up,” Maualuga said. …
Everson Griffen became the first USC true freshman to start an opener on the defensive line since Tim Ryan in 1986.
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