The Bears held their fourth day of practice this afternoon, and their last before going in full pads tomorrow. Wednesday’s practice will be the most revealing so far, and it is completely open to the media so there should be some good stuff to report.
Cal suffered a few more injuries tonight. Freshman Jason Gibson has a sprained ankle, and the severity is unknown at this point. Offensive lineman Tyler Rigsbee has a “pretty significant contusion,” according to coach Jeff Tedford. Nose tackle Aaron Tipoti, meanwhile, had his bell rung and is going to be examined for a potential concussion. All three players aren’t expected to practice tomorrow. Same goes for offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, who is still recovering from his hamstring injury.
One piece of good news for the Bears: Safety Sean Cattouse was back at practice one day after suffering a slight hamstring tweak.
Tedford expanded on the team’s decision not to bring running back Trajuan Briggs to camp. There is nothing wrong with Briggs’ health. The Bears simply have too many tailbacks and Tedford wants to get a look at the new ones. The team can only bring 105 of the 116 players on the roster to camp, so Briggs was a product of a logjam.
“We need to evaluate the young guys,” Tedford said. “In order to do that, we had to draw the line somewhere. He wasn’t in that group.”
Walk-on quarterback Ryan Werternberger is another player on the roster who isn’t in camp.
While practicing in full pads is the best way for coaches to evaluate players, they can still get some things done when the team is in shells, which the Bears were again today for the second straight practice. Tedford singled out freshman safety Avery Walls for his play today.
“Avery Walls stood out today as a guy who is an exceptional player,” Tedford said. “I think he’ll be one of our best special teams players, for sure.”
One major difference in a full pad practice is players are allowed to fully tackle, so that is something the defensive coaches especially will be watching tomorrow. As Tedford put it, “We’ll be doing some things where we will be playing real football.”