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Arizona State vs. Colorado: Ray Polk expected to play, says Jon Embree

The Buffaloes get a senior leader in the lineup for the first time since Week 1

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Colorado Buffaloes senior safety Ray Polk is expected to play this Thursday against Arizona State, Buffs coach Jon Embree said on Tuesday.

Polk, expected to be a senior leader and difference maker this season, has missed most of the action in 2012 due to an ankle injury he suffered during Colorado's week one loss to Colorado State. He recorded two tackles that game before having to leave the game.

Junior safety Parker Orms has filled in for Polk and made 28 tackles over four-plus games. Polk returns from the ankle injury after playing most of 2011 with a broken sternum, despite which he led the Buffs with 69 tackles on the year. For his career, Polk has one interception, three pass breakups, and 168 tackles.

Polk's return hopefully spells better news for Colorado's pass defense, which currently ranks 93rd nationally, giving up 251 passing yards per game. Arizona State's offense, led by quarterback Taylor Kelly, ranks 32nd in passing offense.