Redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Lee, battling hard for the #1 quarterback position, was held out of practice yesterday with an ankle injury. Les Miles, who is famously reticent to divulge any information about injuries, says that it is not serious and can be cured by rest rather than surgery.
That account does not fill me with good feelings. Miles claims it won't affect the quarterback race, but I can't see how it's possible not to. Lee is a guy (same as Hatch) who cannot afford to lose the development that comes with practice time. He was, by most accounts, a little behind Hatch in terms of making decisions, reading defenses, and the mental aspects of the game in general. Not that he wasn't making progress, but he was a little behind the older, more experienced Hatch in those key areas. He won't catch up on the trainers' table.
Les Miles has never been completely honest and candid about an injury and he isn't starting with this one. He did not give a timetable for Lee's return, saying only that he would return "in short order," whenever that is. I suppose it could be today. Or it could be in two weeks. Or longer. Who knows?
As a fan, this means I am anticipating that Hatch will be the clear #1 quarterback when the season starts, even if Lee is only out for a few days. It could actually mean that Jordan Jefferson advances just a little quicker. Miles has already said Jefferson was likely to play this season, and the opportunity is there for him to make a splash.