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ASU OC Rob Likens ‘pleased’ with QB Jayden Daniels injury progression

Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) warms up his teammates prior to an NCAA college football game against Southern California, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tempe, Ariz. Daniels did not suit up due to an injury. (AP Photo/Matt York)

TEMPE, Ariz. — With plenty of time still remaining before the Sun Devils travel to take on the Oregon State Beavers, Arizona State is liking what it sees from freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels.

After he was unable to fully practice just a week prior, missing last week’s game against USC with a leg injury, the QB was back practicing with the team Tuesday, a solid sign he’ll be back under center come Saturday.

“He was fine. I was very, very pleased,” offensive coordinator Rob Likens said after practice. “I was like ‘OK, he’s back.’ He rolled out, he did some bootlegs, he disconnected on some run plays and ran. I didn’t see him limp, favor or do anything. He looked 100%.

“One of the things I could tell last week, the balls that he was throwing weren’t as accurate as they were in the past and you could tell because of his base and the weight distribution on his leg and all that. Today he was accurate, he threw a ball today that was unbelievable. His accuracy was back and he looked 100%.”

The latest update coincides with what ASU’s Herm Edwards had hoped, with the head coach anticipating the young QB would be able to practice fully this week. If Daniels can continue to log full practices, he’ll be in line to start, Edwards told Doug & Wolf Monday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

This season, Daniels has a 60.5% completion rate with 1,902 passing yards in eight games. He has 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions while rushing for 273 yards and three touchdowns.

Daniels isn’t the only QB on the roster looking to get back to full strength, either, as fellow freshman Joey Yellen, who started in place of Daniels against USC, is dealing with a shoulder sprain he sustained early on last Saturday.

“We expected this. We knew it was going to be really sore,” Likens said of Yellen’s shoulder. “He’s got a sprain in his throwing shoulder, he landed right on it, toughed it out, played the rest of the game, took some medicine.

“But we expected it to be really sore today and we’re just being cautious with him and we’ll see where he’s at tomorrow. I fully expect him to be ready to play in the game on Saturday if needed. He’ll be fine. It’s just really, really sore right now, which if you ever sprained your AC joint, that’s what happens.”

In his first game as a starter, Yellen showed he could move the chains, throwing for 292 yards, four touchdowns and two picks on 28-for-44 passing.

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