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Utah football: Murphy faces 12 weeks of rehab after successful surgery

Published: Monday, July 6 2015 9:08 p.m. MDT

Tight end Jake Murphy (82) of the Utah Utes scores against Utah State University during NCAA football in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Tight end Jake Murphy (82) of the Utah Utes scores against Utah State University during NCAA football in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham updated the media on the condition of starting tight end Jake Murphy, who had surgery on a broken wrist on Tuesday.

“Everything went well. The surgery was 100 percent successful, at least to this point, as far as what they can assess right now,” Whittingham said. “But the down side is it’s probably about a 12-week rehab.”

As such, Whittingham added that the junior was essentially gone for the season.

“That’s what we are planning on and if he’s able to get back for the tail end then that will be a bonus,” he explained. “But we’re not counting on that.”

Besides Murphy, Utah is also without co-starting tight end Westlee Tonga. Whittingham said the senior is continuing to try and get back from an undisclosed injury suffered in the win over BYU. Whittingham, however, noted that Tonga is not ready yet.

Utah's Jake Murphy fights for yardage downfield while being tackled by Oregon State's Malcolm Marable during the first half of a game at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. (Matt Gade, Deseret News) Utah's Jake Murphy fights for yardage downfield while being tackled by Oregon State's Malcolm Marable during the first half of a game at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. (Matt Gade, Deseret News)

That leaves freshman Siale Fakailoatonga and junior college transfers Greg Reese and Evan Moeai on the depth chart entering Saturday’s game with fifth-ranked Stanford.

Whittingham said that former Alta High star Harrison Handley will remain in redshirt mode and he doesn’t see that changing.

ON THE MEND: Starting quarterback Travis Wilson, who missed practice Monday because of a lingering illness, continues to improve.

After Wednesday’s practice, Whittingham said the sophomore was much better.

“Knock on wood — hopefully we’re over the hump with that illness,” he added.

Utah's Jake Murphy is swarmed by Weber State's Cordero Dixon, left, and Chris Jones in the second quarter of a game against Weber State at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (Matt Gade, Deseret News) Utah's Jake Murphy is swarmed by Weber State's Cordero Dixon, left, and Chris Jones in the second quarter of a game against Weber State at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (Matt Gade, Deseret News)

Wilson agreed.

“I’m feeling a lot better every day,” he said. “So I’ve just got to take it day-by-day.”

EXTRA POINTS: The Utah vs. Arizona game on October 19 will kick off at 8 p.m. and will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. ... Wilson and Stanford offensive lineman Kyle Murphy were childhood teammates, most recently at San Clemente (Calif.) High School . . . Former Pleasant Grove quarterback Dallas Lloyd is on the Cardinal roster . . . Utah receiver Dres Anderson is fifth in the Pac-12 in receiving with 102 yards per game . . . Whittingham is one win shy of his 75th victory as head coach of the Utes.

Email: dirk@desnews.com Twitter: @DirkFacer

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