Jahvid Best made his first appearance on campus today since his gruesome concussion on Saturday. He visited Cal’s training room to receive treatment on his sore back, which seems to be the biggest sympton of the injury. Coach Jeff Tedford said he was able to chat briefly with Best and some players who were also getting treatment were able to see him.
“It was great to see him and give him a hug,” Tedford said. “He just stopped by and got treatment on his back and said hi to the guys. He was moving a little slow, but it was nice to see him up and walking around.”
Best didn’t stick around for meetings and practice and hasn’t yet returned to classes, either. Tedford had no idea when Best might return to school.
“I don’t think anybody knows that,” Tedford said. “I don’t think with something like this you say, ‘OK, next Tuesday I’m going to class.’ You don’t know. He could feel great tomorrow and want to return. Who knows? It’s really totally how he’s feeling when he returns to anything around here.”
Tedford was also asked if Best might be on the sidelines for Saturday’s game.
“It’s totally how he feels,” Tedford said. “I’m sure if he feels up to it, he’ll be there. He’ll take it day by day and see how he does. It would be great to have him there, but this is 100 percent on Jahvid and how he feels and how he responds.”
–Cal is getting some good news on the injury front. Left guard Matt Summers-Gavin practiced in full again today and Tedford said he’s ready to go Saturday. And nose tackle Derrick Hill went thorugh a series of tests on the sidelines during practice and Tedford said he looked very sharp. Hill still hasn’t practiced this week, but Tedford said as long as he’s cleared medically, he could still play in the game wihtout practicing.
“He did some tests today. He looked like a lumberjack,” Tedford said. “He took those big medicine balls and he was lifting them up and throwing them down and throwing them sideways. It was the hardest workout I’ve ever seen. He looked good to play to me. I wouildn’t be able to get out of bed the next day.”
On the down side for Cal, Tedford did say tight end Anthony Miller will definitely sit out another game, but seemed optimistic he will be back for the Big Game.
Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said Bryant Nnabufie will start at cornerback against Arizona. Nnabufie will be the third corner to start opposite Syd’Quan Thompson this season.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way, of course. The Bears felt they were solid with Thompson and Darian Hagan at corner. But lingering knee problems and a one-game suspension have turned this into a forgettable season for Hagan.
Hagan didn’t play a single snap last week against Oregon State and had fallen off the two-deep depth chart. But Gregory said Hagan is starting to come around and “will probably play this week.” Hagan will battle Josh Hill for the third cornerback spot.
“The past two days, he’s had two very good days of practice,”‘ Gregory said. “He’s had to work his way back up. To his credit, he’s done that.”
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks saw more playing time against Oregon State than he had in recent weeks and Gregory said Kendricks will probably play even more against Arizona.
A handful of players have been out a day or two recently with the flu. Among them today were safeties Marcus Ezeff and Brett Johnson as well as third-string quarterback Brock Mansion. Tedford said most guys have only been sick for 24-48 hours.
Cal players are instructed to stay away from the team when they are sick because of Swine Flu concerns.