Wilkins limited in practices leading up to Saturday's game

Arizona State head coach Todd Graham said quarterback Manny Wilkins was limited in practices leading up to the team's matchup with Washington State.

On Saturday, Arizona State sophomore quarterback Manny Wilkins played through an ankle injury he suffered just two weeks earlier in the Sun Devils' 41-20 loss against USC.

With Wilkins back in the lineup after missing ASU's 23-20 win over UCLA, the Sun Devils' offense put together its worst output of the Todd Graham era, amassing just 199 total yards in a 40-16 loss against Colorado.

Wilkins was clearly hampered by his injured ankle, but both Graham and offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey said Wilkins gave the Sun Devils their best opportunity to win.

With redshirt freshmen backups Brady White and Bryce Perkins sidelined for extended periods of time with injuries, Wilkins' backups are now true freshmen Dillon Sterling-Cole and Jack Smith, who began the season as likely candidates to redshirt. 

Even after watching a limited Wilkins take hit after hit against Colorado's defense Saturday, Graham and Lindsey still believe the sophomore signal-caller is the Sun Devils' best option heading into their matchup with Washington State. 

On Thursday, Graham indicated Wilkins was significantly limited in practice this week, and took about the same amount of reps he did in the week leading up to ASU's contest against Colorado. 

"Do I think? I hope so," Graham said when asked if Wilkins looked healthier this week. "I don't know. I really don't know. (He practiced) just a little bit. About the same as last week."

Graham did suggest the Sun Devils are more confident in both Sterling-Cole and Smith after watching them practice this week, especially considering last week was the first opportunity either player had to practice with ASU's offense.

To this point in the season, Sterling-Cole and Smith had largely worked as ASU's scout team quarterbacks, learning and executing the Sun Devils' opponents schemes at practices.

"I do feel like we've got Dillon and Jack a little bit more ready to go so that's a good thing," Graham said.

Wilkins was not the only Sun Devil player hobbled against Colorado, as sophomore safety Armand Perry played through pain in the first half before leaving the game in the second half with a foot injury. 

Though Perry did not practice in individual drills or team periods open to the media on Tuesday or Wednesday, Graham said Perry felt better this week than he did at the same point last week. Still, Graham is uncertain of Perry's status for Saturday's game.

"He feels better than he did last week, but we'll see, questionable," Graham said.

ASU kicks off against Washington State at 7 p.m. Saturday evening at Sun Devil Stadium, as Graham's squad looks to topple a Cougars' team that is unbeaten in conference play through its first three games. 


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