Tape It Up: Arizona State: Thumb Problems

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Arizona State: Thumb Problems

All eyes will be on Eugene, Oregon this weekend when Arizona State squares off against Oregon in one of the most meaningful BCS barometers to date. But in the meantime, all eyes are on Sun Devil quarterback Rudy Carpenter's right thumb, as the junior has been unable to throw so far this week because of swelling in his sprained thumb.

If you didn't see the play on which Carpenter was hurt during Saturday's win over Cal, it was a miscommunication that would have been funny if Carpenter had not been hurt. On a routine handoff, Carpenter zigged the same way tailback Keegan Herring zagged and the quarterback's thumb bent in a direction thumbs were not designed to bend. As a result, he's been diagnosed as day-to-day with a sprained right thumb that is limiting him to taking snaps and handoffs in practices.

It'll be a long night against the Ducks if Carpenter can't throw, but head coach Dennis Erickson is all but certain that Carpenter will play on Saturday. He practiced with tape on his wrist and thumb, wearing a brace at a Monday news conference, but Erickson was shocked when asked if there was a chance Carpenter would sit out Saturday's game against the Ducks.

"He'll play," Erickson said. "I would be shocked if he didn't come out throwing by Thursday, but I'm not a doctor."

If non-doctor Erickson is wrong, sophomore Danny Sullivan will get the start. He has some experience, having completed 11 of 14 pass attempts for 91 yards and a touchdown this season, but Carpenter is obviously the QB of choice for this winner-takes-all matchup.

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