The senior linebacker is back practicing with the team after his November leg injury.
No one really needed — or deserved — a reminder of just how intimidating Washington star linebacker Azeem Victor can be.
Poor Ralph Kinne got one anyway.
Victor flattened Kinne, a veteran walk-on running back, while covering a pass in the flat Wednesday morning, a play that drew a chorus of “oohs” from Victor’s defensive teammates during the Huskies’ second practice of the spring.
The Huskies practiced again Wednesday in helmets and shorts (no pads), and tackling is not permitted this early in workouts. Still, bodies collide when running at full speed, and this particular collision could have been much worse. Victor used only his hands, not his shoulders, to knock Kinne backward.
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In Victor’s return from a broken leg, the hit was a sight for sore eyes for the UW defense. And, for Kinne, a sore backside. (But give Kinne credit: He held on to make the catch.)
“I should’ve went for the ball and picked it off,” Victor grumbled after practice. “Next time I’ll be a ballhawk.”
Victor suffered a broken tibia bone in his right leg in the second quarter of the Huskies’ loss to USC on Nov. 12. His season over, he had surgery the next day. About six weeks later, he was jogging again, and he said it was an important goal for him to get back on the field this spring.
During the first two practices, he’s been working alongside good friend Keishawn Bierria in the middle of the defense. If a casual observer didn’t know otherwise, it would be difficult to tell Victor had a serious leg injury less than five months ago.
“I’m still not fully all the way there, but it takes time,” Victor said. “As long as I feel good, I know where I need to stop at. I’m doing pretty good.”