LARAMIE — Some of James Price’s frustrations with breaking his collarbone are obvious. The Wyoming junior receiver missed Wyoming’s first two games after suffering the injury in a late-August scrimmage, and head coach Craig Bohl said he expects Price to be out Saturday against Oregon.
But there are more downsides to having your arm in a sling than simply missing football games.
“It was tough to make my bed,” Price said. “I like to get up and make my bed every morning, and it was pretty frustrating having to make my bed with one arm. That’s something that I take a lot of pride in and I couldn’t do that.”
It was originally estimated Price would miss six weeks with the injury, a time period that would extend to Wyoming’s fifth game of the year, Sept. 30 against Texas State. However, Price, a Camas, Washington, native, personally hoped to be back for the Oregon game, Wyoming’s first home game against a Power Five team since 2011.
“I think personally, I wanted to play in the Oregon game, because it’s a big game, and it means a little bit more to me, being from the Northwest,” he said. “But I think right now it’s still a little bit in question. But that’s up to the medical staff to decide.”
Price said Monday he was not sure whether playing Saturday was out of the question, as he had not yet checked in with the team’s medical staff that day. Bohl, however, said he was “in hopes” that James could return the following game against Hawaii.
Regardless, if James plays in that Sept. 23 game in Laramie, he will have returned ahead of schedule.
James had some encouragement from quarterback Josh Allen, who broke his collarbone in seven places in a season-ending 2015 injury.
“Every day he asks me if I’m ready to go, if I’m going to be back,” Price said. “It’s all fun and games but at the same time, it does hurt, the past two weeks, not being able to play in the first games. But I’m just having to wait it out and see what happens.”
The hurt is all emotional, though. Price said there’s no longer any physical pain.
“I think it’s just kind of my tolerance level with being able to take hits right now is pretty low,” Price said. “And so I wouldn’t want to re-injure it and have to sit out longer than expected.”
Allen, for the record, had broken his collarbone prior to the 2015 injury, though it was years before. The second break came as a surprise to the quarterback.
“He just told me that when your collarbone breaks, it usually heals back even stronger,” Price said. “So keep my head up.
“... I think right now I feel strong, I feel like my bone is doing a great job of healing, and the specialists say I’m a couple days ahead of the normal healing process, which is good. Right now, it’s just kind of waiting it out and seeing how it recovers on its own.”
Without Price, who had been heralded as a leader in the wide receiver group, the Cowboys receivers have had mixed results in two games. Wyoming was held to 174 passing yards in a loss at Iowa, but Allen had his second career 300-yard passing performance in a 27-0 win Saturday against Gardner-Webb as Wyoming put up 24 first-half points.
Still, Allen would undoubtedly benefit from having another target at his availability against a Pac-12 defense.
At the very least, Price is now out of his sling and practicing in a red non-contact jersey. And he can make his bed.
“People ask me (if I come from a military family), but no, I just like making my bed,” he said. “I like being in order.”