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What does Constantine's injury do to UW?

The Washington Huskies received some bad news Tuesday afternoon when Chris Petersen announced that Sean Constantine, a junior linebacker from Bellevue, had suffered a broken ankle and it's expected it would be months before his return. 

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"He’s going to have surgery here shortly," Petersen said of Constantine's injury. "Yeah. That’s going to be months of rehab for that one. Those are the hard ones. This kid has worked his tail off. He’s had some injuries in the past, even through spring and has gotten himself in great shape. Then he has another significant injury."

Constantine was the seventh leading linebacker in 2015 in terms of tackles, accounting for 12 total tackles in 13 games played. He finished the season with one tackle for loss. 

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Constantine, who earned honorable mention Academic All-Pac-12 honors last season, as well as the Husky Fever 12th Man of the Year recipient, redshirted in 2013. He played in five games in 2014 before becoming a fixture in the linebacker rotation this past season. 

It was expected that Constantine would be the main backup to starting middle linebacker Azeem Victor, but now that job will most likely fall to true sophomore Ben Burr-Kirven, who had 34 tackles, including one tackle for loss and one sack, in 12 games last year. Another potential replacement could be DJ Beavers, who redshirted in 2015 but had a very solid spring camp and has continued to impress during fall ball. 

Another player that could find himself in the mix for playing time while Constantine is away is redshirt freshman Kyler Manu. At 6-foot-1 and 232 pounds, Manu has been working as one of the inside linebackers for UW LB Coach Bob Gregory. 

Gregory also has two third-year walk-ons in Matt Preston and Jake Wambaugh that he could possibly go to in a pinch. Preston had three total tackles in two games played this past year, while Wambaugh played in six total games in 2015. 

There are also two true freshmen that could see playing time now that depth could become an issue inside. Camilo Eifler and Brandon Wellington were two of the more highly-rated prospects in Washington's 2016 recruiting class, and both have had very solid fall camps. They may not be players Gregory goes to right away, but they may find a soft landing during mop-up time the first three games of the season - setting themselves up for more playing time down the line. 

In any event, the loss of Constantine, while still a big hit to Washington's inside linebacking depth, isn't the massive blow it may have been in years' past. Gregory has plenty of bodies he can go to to help fill the gap left by Constantine's absence. 

And finally, talk of a medical redshirt year for Constantine is premature, at best. The NCAA is very, very selective in the process when it comes to handing out sixth years, and typically they would be given to those that have missed multiple seasons in a row. Think: Deontae Cooper. 

Right now I think it's unlikely Constantine would get a sixth year if he applied for one. The timing of the injury is unfortunate to say the least, but when is there a good time to get hurt? 

The best-case scenario for Constantine, who is still very much on track to graduate with his degree in four years, is to get healthy enough to contribute at the tail end of the season or the bowl season and then really go for it as a senior. 

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