Training camp is almost a week old and you can tell by the amount of red jerseys on the practice field. It’s usually about this time that guys start getting banged up, and there were a handful of players sidelined today. Most notable was tailback Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson, who is out with a concussion and wide receiver Alex Lagemann, who suffered a hamstring injury. Coach Jeff Tedford said a handful of players were experiencing hamstring problems, and he said it might be because the dramatic change in the weather. It was much warmer Thursday than it has been in recent days.
DeBoskie-Johnson’s injury comes at a bad time for him. Isi Sofele and Dasarte Yarnway appear to be separating themselves in the race for the No. 2 backup job, and DeBoskie-Johnson can’t do anything about it on the field right now.
“It always hurts your chances when you’re not playing,” Tedford said. “It gives someone else an opportunity to play.
Heading into camp, it had been speculated that at least a couple of the incoming wide receivers would play as a true freshman. It appears Tedford isn’t hesitant about playing as many as possible, because Thursday he said four of the newcomers would be part of the rotation if the season started right now – Keenan Allen, Kaelin Clay, Coleman Edmond and Tevin Carter.
“Those guys are going to be in the mix,” Tedford said. “They’ve created a lot of depth there. As of right now, I’d say the four of those guys are going to play. When you take Marvin (Jones), Jeremy (Ross) and Michael Calvin and Loggy (Alex Lagemann) and those four guys, now you have eight guys. If we had to play today, those would be the guys in the rotation.”
Tailback Shane Vereen continues to sit out of practice but Tedford said Vereen will resume running on Friday. While there isn’t a sense of urgency to get Vereen back at practice – the team knows what he can do after watching him the past couple of years – the missed time could make him a little more rusty.
“We know what he can do,” Tedford said. “We’ve seen enough of Shane over the past couple years. But you still have to play football and have to knock the rust off at some point.”
- Middle linebacker D.J. Holt continues to be bothered by a hamstring. He practiced in limited fashion Thursday. Robert Mullins has been taking the first team reps in his place.
- Fullback Will Kapp still hasn’t practiced because of a concussion. Eric Stevens has been taking the first team reps and has looked strong.
- Freshman Dave Wilkerson has moved from middle to outside linebacker. Tedford said the move was made based on need.