TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State coach Todd Graham said quarterback Bryce Perkins missed practice on Tuesday because he got hit in Monday’s practice and was being evaluated for an undisclosed injury.
Graham countered a report that Perkins was considering transferring to another school.
“Not to my knowledge,” Graham said.
The Arizona Republic’s Doug Haller later confirmed that Perkins is staying put after a conversation with Perkins’ father, Bruce.
Graham has not named a starting quarterback and does not plan to until right before the team’s season opener against Northern Arizona on Sept. 3, but based on reps and usage, it appears Perkins has lost the battle for the starting job and has fallen behind Manny Wilkins and Brady White on the depth chart.
Sun Devil Source reported that Perkins’ injury impacted his decision on whether to transfer.
RICHARD, HARVEY ON CRUTCHES
Starting running back Demario Richard and wide receiver Jalen Harvey, who had been practicing with the first team, both left practice on Tuesday on crutches, with Harvey wearing walking boot on his right foot.
Graham did not sound too concerned with the injuries after practice.
“We had a couple little deals; nothing major,” he said.
Richard finished sixth in the Pac-12 and 45th in the nation in rushing yards last season with 1,050. Harvey suffered a broken collarbone at Camp Tontozona last season and did not return until the Territorial Cup game against Arizona on Nov. 21.
Sun Devils running backs coach John Simon has so many options at running back that he feels like a pro coach.
“It’s almost an NFL room,” Simon said of a running back corps that includes Richard, Kalen Ballage (653 yards in 2015), situational back Nick Ralston, promising redshirt freshman Jason Lewis, true freshman Tre Turner and versatile De’Chavon Hayes. “With those young guys, special teams are going to be huge right now. To be that third or fourth guy on the depth chart is going to depend on special teams.”
Graham said he’d like to get Richard and Ballage on the field at the same time in certain situations. Simon said the staff has a plan for that, but would have to be careful.
“In a perfect world they would (both) be out there but now you take a risk of both of them getting injured,” Simon said. “The best way to try to utilize those guys is when they’re out there, they are involved. We don’t want them to just be out there, just to say ‘hey, they’re both on the field.'”
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