By Jonathan Okanes
Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 at 10:13 pm in off-season stuff.
Quarterback Nate Longshore said today that his pulled right pectoral muscle might keep him out of the rest of spring practice. He said “if all goes well,” he might return in two weeks, which would give him a few practices before the spring session is over.
“I want to get reps, obviously,” Longshore said. “But there’s a lot of time between now and the season. If something is going to happen, I’d rather it happen now.”
Longshore said he started feeling the injury last Wednesday but it didn’t get bad until Friday. He said he wanted to participate in the first full-pads workout of the spring on Saturday because the offense struggled on Friday.
“I wanted to come back and make a statement on Saturday,” Longshore said. “We just didn’t do well as an offense on Friday. I had to come back.”
Longshore said the area is swollen and discolored, and he can barely lift his arm.
“It just kept getting worse and worse,” he said. “When it started changing colors, I figured I should probably give it a rest.”
Longshore’s injury means the quarterback battle is probably put on hold until the fall, although it gives Kevin Riley an opportunity to make an impact getting first team reps. Riley has taken first team reps in two practices now but really hasn’t separated himself. He did make one nice pass under pressure Wednesday, floating a pass to the corner of the end zone which was hauled in by tight end Cameron Morrah.
Longshore’s absence also means Brock Mansion is getting a lot more reps as the second team quarterback. Frankly, it’s been a couple of rough practices for Mansion, who’s missed a lot of receivers with errant passes.
Other updates on the injury front:
–Linebacker Mike Mohamed pulled a hamstring Monday. Coach Jeff Tedford wasn’t sure how long he would be out. Mohamed has been playing with the first team as part of the 3-4 defense the Bears have been trying out.
–Running back Shane Vereen missed another practice with a hamstring injury, but Tedford said he’s 80-85 percent healthy and should be back soon.
–Linebacker Zack Follett is still out with a concussion. Fellow linebacker D.J. Holt also has a concussion, but Tedford said he could be back by the weekend.
Other notes from Wednesday:
–Converted defensive lineman Tad Smith continues to be a revelation at tight end. He made a couple more nice catches Wednesday and looks like he’s going to go into the fall really pushing for playing time. “I really believe he’s going to be a strong contributor this season,” Tedford said.
–Fullback Peter Geurts has made an impression taking reps at tailback. With the injuries to Vereen and Jahvid Best and James Montgomery’s transfer, the Bears are short at tailback so they are using Guerts to fill in. Tedford said Guerts has been doing so even while battling two hip pointers. “He’s a very tough kid,” Tedford said. “I’m thankful he’s here now. He may be a tailback now.”
–Cal receivers had several passes go off their hands, especially during red zone work. Linebacker Worrell Williams couldn’t come up with two chances for interceptions, prompting push-ups from the defense, as is the ritual when they don’t capitalize on a potential pick.
–Defensive end Cameron Jordan delievered a big hit on running back Tracy Slocum for a loss. On the last play of practice, linebacker Shea McIntyre stopped Geurts short of the goal line, prompting a big celebration from the defense.