tampabay.com

Watching getting old for Walker

The Bears QB has been sidelined with a clavicle injury since day one.

By DAVID MURPHY
Published August 18, 2006


BROOKSVILLE - For the past two weeks, Chase Walker has been bored.

Very, very bored.

While his Central teammates have been busy running, throwing and hitting in preparation for next Friday's season opener against Hernando, the junior quarterback has been watching.

And watching.

"It's been pretty boring," Walker said after practice Wednesday.

The quarterback, who enters this year as the undisputed starter after taking over for Gary Owen late last season, separated his clavicle on the first day of hitting and has been sidelined since. The injury occurred on the non-throwing side, meaning he has been able to keep his arm fresh by throwing on the sidelines. But this week was the first time he was cleared to participate in drills, and he isn't allowed any contact.

Asked if he will be ready to play against Hernando, Walker replied, "Oh yeah." Central coach Cliff Lohrey also expects him to be ready.

Still, the coach said, "Just because I think he's going to be ready doesn't mean the doctor is going to agree with me."

Walker will see a doctor again next week.

In the meantime, junior Jeff Wright, a wide receiver and defensive back, has been operating under center.

"We didn't want it to happen, but it kind of helps us in a way because we have someone else to develop," senior running back Carlos Becaria said. "If anything ever does happen, which we hope it doesn't, we have someone back there ready to go."

Lohrey doesn't seem too concerned about Walker's health.

"It's nothing too major," the coach said. "It's so early in the season that you want to get him to 100 percent instead of it being a minor thing that lingers."