LARAMIE — If you were to make a word cloud of Craig Bohl and Josh Allen’s answers to questions regarding whether Allen would play in the Dec. 22 Potato Bowl, the word “percent” might be the biggest thing on there, right up with the number “100.”
Allen wants to play in the bowl game and never gave consideration, he said, to skipping the bowl to preserve his health for the NFL Draft. But both he and his coach have given repeated reminders that if the junior quarterback’s injured throwing shoulder isn’t 100 percent healthy, he won’t be playing.
So, what percentage is it at now?
“Probably 90s,” Allen said Monday. “In the 90 percentile. So it’s getting real close.”
Allen suffered the injury Nov. 11 at Air Force. A month later, there remains room for improvement.
“We’re still getting better day by day,” he said. “Been practicing. I’ve been taking reps with the 1s. It’s still not where I think it needs to be or where I’d want it to be, but things are progressively getting better, and I can feel it getting better day by day.
“Throwing is becoming a lot easier. It’s becoming more effortless. So, we’re on the right track, but we’re going to be needing to know an answer here in the next coming days, so I’ll be in the training room 24/7, trying to get back on the field. Trust me.”
The need for an answer so soon, Allen said, is so backup Nick Smith, who started Wyoming’s last two games, can properly prepare for Central Michigan.
“I think if there’s any reason that I can’t go, I think it would be time for me to start missing practice so Nick can get reps with the 1s,” Allen said. “But hopefully we’re not in that situation, and hopefully I can take every single rep and come December 22nd I’m out there on the field.”
The main issue now, he said, is the pain.
“I definitely believe I can make all the throws,” Allen said. “There’s just some that I can’t put as much velocity as I want into the ball. It’s a little painful coming through on the follow-through. The injury itself is gone. It’s just trying to get the pain management down to a level I can tolerate.”
Bohl did not meet with media Monday as he was out recruiting.
Words on Wentz
One person Allen consulted last offseason while deciding whether to leave for the NFL was Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz’s second NFL season, which had garnered him MVP consideration, came to an end Sunday when the North Dakota State graduate suffered a knee injury that turned out to be an ACL tear.
Allen said he had not reached out to Wentz since the injury.
“It sucks to see that happen,” Allen said. “He’s just a guy that was willing to put his body on the line and dive into the end zone, and sometimes that’s just how it happens. It’s football, and it’s definitely a learning moment, I think, for him.
“But yeah, I was sick to my stomach watching that, because he’s worked so hard and (is) possibly the MVP of the league this year, and to go out that way, it kind of sucks. But knowing the guy that he is, this is only going to motivate him for the rest of his career.”
Because Wentz was recruited and coached by Bohl and Wyoming offensive coordinator Brent Vigen during their time with the Bison, many have used Wentz as a favorable comparison for Allen when discussing the Wyoming quarterback’s draft prospects.
“It’s very cool,” Allen said. “And actually getting the chance to talk to him and talk to Vigen and Bohl about him, who, obviously, he played under. He’s a great guy, and not just on the field. Off the field, he’s probably one of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet.
“So when they kind of compare me to him, it’s definitely a sigh of relief or a blessing or whatever you want to call it, because that’s someone who any quarterback should try to model himself after.”