Some thoughts as another week of practice comes to a close, and I try to figure out what USC’s loss tonight means for the Pac-10….
–Some pretty significant news tonight: Cal coach Jeff Tedford said freshman nose tackle Kendrick Payne is out for the season. Payne had knee surgery a couple of weeks ago, but Tedford characterized it as minor. Apparently, when surgeons got inside, they found that Payne had torn his medial collateral ligament.
Payne had opened some eyes with his play during training camp and early in the season, so much so that the Bears had him penciled into their plans despite the fact he is a true freshman. It would have been interesting to see just how much playing time he would have got now that Mika Kane is back healthy.
The good news is the Bears can still redshirt Payne and have him for four more years.
–Left guard Chris Guarnero missed another practice with a sprained toe. Tedford said Guarnero would be “available” on Saturday, but I wouldn’t count on him starting. Redshirt sophomore Mark Boskovich took all the first team reps this week and figures to make his first career start against Colorado State.
I’m sure Guarnero would love to play in this one. He is from Arvada, Colorado, which is about an hour away from Colorado State.
–Mitchell Schwartz continues to take reps at left tackle and Chet Teofilo at right tackle. Tedford wouldn’t comment if the Bears are going to line up that way in the game.
–Free safety Bernard Hicks (thigh bruise) shedded his red jersey but still didn’t practice much. Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said Brett Johnson will start and was unsure how much Hicks would play. He also said redshirt freshman Sean Cattouse will probably see more action as a backup safety.
–Gregory also said defensive end Rulon Davis (foot) is back at full strength. Davis practiced with the first team and figures to return to the starting lineup. Davis didn’t start, but did play, in the Bears’ last game at Maryland.
–Tedford said he expects wide receiver Marvin Jones (sprained knee) to return after the next bye week, meaning he should only miss two games.