LARAMIE — One of the Wyoming fanbase's questions was answered Sunday when the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl announced that Wyoming and Central Michigan would play in the Dec. 22 bowl game in Boise, Idaho.
Now onto the next question: Will Josh Allen play?
The junior quarterback has not seen the field since injuring his throwing shoulder Nov. 11 at Air Force, and the questions of whether he would play in Wyoming's home finale against Fresno State or its regular-season finale at San Jose State remained questions up until game day.
Likewise, there is still no definitive answer from Wyoming as to whether Allen will play against the Chippewas. Head coach Craig Bohl's outlook, however, is more positive than it had been.
"Well, we had a couple light practices over the weekend," Bohl said. "Josh was out there competing and throwing, and we were really encouraged. I think the arrow is certainly pointing up as far as his progression, and so that was really encouraging. To say if he’s at 100 percent, I don’t know if between Josh and I and our sports medicine people that would be quite accurate, but he’s pretty doggone far along. Significant improvement.
"I know that’s going to be an asked question many times. I don’t have the answer right now, but I would say it would be very probable he will be at 100 percent."
One-hundred percent appears to be the key, as Allen said after the Cowboys' loss at San Jose State, the first time he had spoken to media since the injury, that he would like to play in the bowl if he was 100 percent healthy. That remained Allen's stance Monday at the Cowboys' media availability.
"Nothing’s changed there," Allen said. "If I’m 100 percent, I’m playing in the game. I owe that to this university, to this team. It’s something that I want to do.
"I’m not the type of guy that’s going to sit out just to sit out, because of what the future may hold, but I’m definitely doing what’s in the best interest for this team."
Allen warmed up for Wyoming's game against the Spartans, but was available only in an emergency capacity, Bohl said, and backup Nick Smith made his second straight start.
"The shoulder’s getting better day by day, and getting back in the swing of things with some seven on (seven) and some plays in team session the last couple days of practice," Allen said. "It felt good. It’s still not where I want it to be or where it needs to be, but the ball is coming out nicely. There are some throws that I kind of feel some pain and some throws I don’t feel anything. It’s just kind of trying to limit the pain there."
Another significant factor in the situation is Allen's status as a potential first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. In recent years, even healthy players with NFL futures have sat out non-playoff bowl games to preserve their health, including Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey last year.
Allen said that was never a consideration.
"The way I look at it is you had 12 other games," Allen said. "What’s one more going to do? I understand that it might be a meaningless game. There’s no conference championship on the line. But I mean, there’s still a lot at stake here.
"Going into our last game, getting an eighth win, it helps out with recruiting, it helps out with the whole conference. There’s a nice little competition for the conference that has the most bowl wins. So I mean, this is something that, it’s a game that there is a lot on the line, and people don’t really take account for that."
Said Bohl: "Josh and I have had some candid conversations about that. He’s all in for the Wyoming Cowboys, and that marker’s going to be 100 percent (for him to play) and so he and I both discussed that.
"He’ll have consultation with our sports medicine office, but I know Josh really wants to play. He also wants to have the best player to go out there to help us win. We believe he’ll be in that position. If he’s 100 percent, he’s going to win."