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Arizona QB Nick Foles has rib contusion, could play in senior finale

Nick Foles

Nick Foles walks gingerly off the field with 6:10 to play against ASU. Photo by Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles suffered a rib contusion in the fourth quarter of the Arizona State, but interim coach Tim Kish sounded optimistic that the senior would be able to play in the final game of his UA career.

“Certainly, we’re encouraged by what we found out so far about him medically,” Kish said Monday morning after Foles had been examined and tests came back negative.

“It’s nothing serious. Sore? Yeah. Will we monitor him? Yes. But he wants to play.”

Even if Foles is able to go Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette, Kish said it also would be important to get playing time for senior Bryson Beirne as a way to reward his five years at Arizona.

Beirne came in after Foles had to leave the ASU game last Saturday with 6:10 to go, throwing a short screen pass over the middle that receiver Juron Criner turned into a tackle-breaking 23-yard touchdown. It was only the 17th pass of Beirne’s career.

“You couldn’t have scripted that any better,” Kish said.

“I’m been teasing him about how long the pass was. … Juron. Wow. That was special.”

Beirne, who suffered a knee injury in preseason scrimmage, was not available early in the season and isn’t at full mobility, quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo said, who added that the game plan wouldn’t have to change much with Beirne in the game.

“He’s old. He knows the drill,” Scelfo said. “He understands everything. He’s calm. He makes good decisions. He’ll be fine.

“Very confident with Bryson. In fact, during the game the other night, I asked Nick if he knew who Wally Pipp was.”

Pipp, of course, was the New York Yankees first baseman who missed a start in 1925 and was replaced by Lou Gehrig, who went to play in 2,130 consecutive games.

In this case, if Foles is healthy, he’ll play one more time in an Arizona uniform.

He always says the records don’t mean much to him, but he would be able to add to several school career and single-season marks, and he needs only eight passes to break the season record for attempts, set by Willie Tuitama in 2007.

Foles is expected to talk after practice tonight.

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