clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Luke Falk is injured, but don't expect any updates on his health

As usual, don't expect comments on injured players. Even when it's the starting quarterback, and even when a hospital trip is involved.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

It's the Sunday morning after WSU quarterback Luke Falk was carted out of the stadium in a 27-3 win over Colorado, and we still have no update on his condition.

You probably shouldn't expect much of one today, either.

I covered Mike Leach for a few years, back when I still lived in Pullman. There was somewhat a rite of passage on the Wazzu beat: Inevitably a newcomer would ask about an injury, and like clockwork Leach would answer that everyone is "happy and healthy as can be." I'm fairly certain just about everyone that didn't know was made aware, by Leach, of his habit/policy of not talking about injuries.

So it was probably jarring for everyone else to see the same answers many of us have seen repeatedly throughout Leach's time in Pullman after Luke Falk was taken off the field on a cart, then taken to the hospital with an apparent head injury. I saw reactions calling Leach cavalier about head injuries or worse after his post-game interview. And while I don't agree that there's some significant competitive advantage to clamping down on injury information, I also don't think his reluctance to dole out the information is some huge indictment of how he handles injuries. It's an annoyance for the people reporting -- because you still have to ask just in case -- but that's about it.*

*There's one exception to this policy, and that's what Leach did after Connor Halliday broke his leg against USC last season. He broke character there and told everyone what the injury was after the game. It was clear Halliday's career was over, so Leach opened up about it.

If you're asking yourself why Leach doesn't talk about injuries, I'd veer away from the typical reasons centering around game-planning and schematic advantages. I think he refuses to talk about injuries because he believes if you fixate on those injuries you're making excuses. If the starting LT goes down, there's another on the bench. Receivers are just replaceable parts, and there's a factory of them on the sideline. If the first quarterback is hurt, you send the next out there and throw deep right off the bat.

From being around Leach, it wouldn't surprise me if this was why he wasn't talking about injuries. It's not shocking that the guy who pulled a kicker from the stands would view players as cogs in the system, and if one gets dinged up there's another cog to replace in the system. So why talk about the status of the cogs?

Edit: Someone brought up a good point in private that I felt should be added here. By not bringing up injuries, it does hang players out to dry. This has happened a few times in the last few years in a noticeable way, where a player declines but there's no context (they were hurt and playing through it). It's unfair that a player shoulders that burden, and can't talk about it or address why their play has declined.

There is reason to worry about Falk's health, though, and I get everyone wanting information, if only to know that he's okay. We know now that he was transported to the hospital, and was conscious and talking. All of these are good things. And unless something bad has happened, that's about all I expect to hear from the team.

We'll update with anything as we get it, but no news is probably good news at this point. However, if Falk is in concussion protocol -- and it's all but a certainty he is -- it's very unlikely he will play in the Apple Cup. The short turnaround between when the injury occurred and when he'd need to be cleared is probably too much, but we'll see.