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Matt Gade, Deseret News

Wilson cleared to play spring football; lineman in critical condition

By Josh Furlong | Posted - Feb 24th, 2014 @ 10:21pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Starting Utah quarterback Travis Wilson has been cleared to play spring football, according to the University of Utah team doctor.

Wilson, who was sidelined at the end of the 2013 seasons after a concussion test discovered damage to an intracranial artery, was cleared after team doctors re-evaluated his condition Monday afternoon.

"Travis's most recent studies have all been stable, he has been cleared to return to non-contact practice with the team and he will be re-evaluated in July," Utah team Dr. David Petron said.

University officials said they will release more information about Wilson being cleared at a later time.

While Wilson is not cleared for full-contact drills, he’ll be able to participate with the team in a limited capacity. More tests later in the year will determine whether he will be allowed to return to football.

Former Utah tight end Jake Murphy tweeted out: "Happy to say one of my good friends is cleared and ready to play again! Can't wait to watch you again bulldog."

Earlier in the year, head coach Kyle Whittingham said the Utes were expecting to evaluate Wilson’s future with the team sometime in the summer after he had undergone more tests. Wilson was expected to join the team sometime in the fall at the earliest, but the news of him joining spring football is welcome news to a team that has faced a lot of adversity in the quarterback position.

On Feb. 4, Whittingham said: “We’re proceeding as if Travis is not going to be available. So that certainly changes our mindset. We’re hoping for the best with Travis. But like I said, as far as our planning, we’ve got to plan as if he’s not going to be with us.”

Utah also announced Monday that defensive linemen Moana Ofahengaue, a redshirt freshman, is in critical condition after suffering a head injury in a motorcycle accident Sunday night.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Moana and his family during this very difficult time,” Whittingham said in a prepared statement. “He is a beloved member of our team and we will support him in his recovery in any way we can.”

University of Utah hospital spokeswoman Kathy Wilets said Ofahengaue’s family is “optimistic” about his recovery.

More information will be posted when it’s available.

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