PRACTICE REPORT: Ivory, AJ cleared; QBs sharp

PULLMAN -- For the first time in a month, running back Chris Ivory has received clearance to return to the field according to his position coach, as did safety Alfonso Jackson. Meanwhile, all five quarterbacks were on target during a chilly Tuesday night session, but it was cornerback Devin Giles who came through with the play of the day.

Running back Chris Ivory and strong safety Alfonso Jackson, out with concussions for an extended period of time, are both being eased back into the swing of things.

Ivory did not practice but Tuesday received clearance to suit up for this Saturday's home game against Stanford, running backs coach Steve Broussard said. Ivory last played against Arizona State. He has 85 yards on 27 carries in five games this season.

Junior safety Alfonso Jackson returned to the practice field in a full-contact jersey, but saw limited action his first day back in pads. Jackson was also injured against ASU, tried to return against Oregon but then sat down the rest of the game plus the following two.

"His issue is going to be conditioning," Broussard said of Ivory, echoing head coach Bill Doba's words from Monday's conference call.

The same will be true of Jackson, WSU's standard procedure for a concussion is not to allow players to lift or run as they wait for the symptoms to clear.

Broussard said the starting running back for this weekend's game against the Stanford Cardinal won't be determined until later in the week. With Dwight Tardy out for the season, Kevin McCall or Ivory would be the likely starter but the other could also get plenty of turns. Marcus Richmond could also figure into the mix.

McCall's showing against the Bears last Saturday was nothing like Tardy's performance against UCLA, but still pleased Broussard.

"I thought he did well," Broussard said. "He had a few mental errors, and had 61 plays..I thought he did fair. He prepared well, like he was supposed to prepare."

Jackson is in the same situation as Ivory as far as conditioning goes. He was seen running laps around the practice field for much of the night session.

Sophomore Xavier Hicks has made a rapid rise up Washington State's tackles list in Jackson's absence. Hicks is seventh on the team with 47 tackles, with 2.5 for loss, 1 interception, 2 breakups and a punt block.

Hicks saw nearly all the snaps with the first team defense on Tuesday. Senior Christian Bass rotated in a couple times as well.

All five quarterbacks had productive nights on the field, as they hooked up with their receivers in fine fashion. Players at all positions seemed to be in high spirits, especially on the defensive side of the ball when cornerback Devin Giles picked off a pass and ran it to the end zone against the scout team.

During drills set inside the ten yard line, it seemed after every play, either George Yarno was heard from, loudly, or Marty Long would do the same, depending on which side came out on top.

Punter Reid Forrest seems to have the rugby style punting down to an art form as he sent punts flying down the field during special teams drills.

NOTABLE NOTE:
  • This Saturday's game starts at 3:30 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Net. This weekend is full of sports on the Palouse, ranging from men's and women's basketball to volleyball and soccer, and all culminating with the football game.


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