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Washington WR Chico McClatcher steps away from team for personal reasons

McClatcher, who missed most of the 2017 season after two devastating injuries in his left leg, has played sparingly for the Huskies this season.

Adam Jude

Washington wide receiver Chico McClatcher stepped away from the team earlier this week to work through personal issues, team sources told The Seattle Times.

The junior from Federal Way did not travel with No. 15 Washington for Saturday’s game at California. It is unclear if or when he might return to the team.

McClatcher has been unable to regain his form, or his confidence, since suffering two devastating injuries in his left leg early in the 2017 season.


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“It’s hard. It’s a tough situation. I love that guy,” UW coach Chris Petersen said Thursday, speaking generally about McClatcher. “He is such a wonderful kid and a football guy. We all go through things and it is what it is.”

Petersen added: “We do our best to support and we love these guys the best we can. But sometimes you just have to go through it.”

Already playing through a torn ACL in his knee, McClatcher suffered a broken ankle in the same leg in a road game at Colorado in September 2017.

In his return to the field this season, he has played sparingly for the Huskies. In eight games, he has nine catches (for 134 yards) and four carries for seven yards.

A starting slot receiver as a sophomore in 2016, the 5-foot-7 McClatcher led the Pac-12 in yards per reception (18.5) that season, posting 31 catches for 574 yards and six total touchdowns while helping the Huskies win the conference championship.

He played much of that season with an MCL injury in his knee, and after the season was presented team’s Earle T. Glant Tough Husky Award.

Last Saturday against Colorado, McClatcher had three touches in the game — two on kickoff returns — and wound up fumbling twice. He lost the second fumble at the Colorado 1-yard line, the ball bouncing out of the back of the end zone for turnover early in the fourth quarter.

After the game, senior quarterback Jake Browning, unprompted, voiced support for McClatcher.

“I just want to say something: Chico McClatcher is one of the best players on this team, has been for a long time. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with,” Browning said. “People go through a little bit of a funk in football, and it’s just bang-bang plays. I’ve been through ’em,” Browning said. “But that dude is going to bounce back and do some stuff. … I love Chico.”

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