Suddenly, the Bears have personnel issues at linebacker.
On Sunday, the Bears lost backup Nathan Broussard to a season-ending knee injury and backup David Wilkerson was given his release to transfer.
Coach Sonny Dykes said Broussard tore the ACL in his left knee during Saturday’s scrimmage and will undergo surgery within two weeks.
Wilkerson, originally a four-star recruit from Monte Vista High in Danville, has been plagued by injuries during his Cal career. He has seen limited action in fall camp after missing all of last season after having ankle surgery. Wilkerson also served a medical redshirt in 2010.
“He just came in and said it wasn’t working out. We agreed,” Dykes said of Wilkerson. “It’s just kind of time to move on.”
The Bears got some encouraging news with the return of projected starting linebackers Nick Forbes (back) and Khairi Fortt (knee) for Sunday’s short, light workout, along with reserve Hardy Nickerson.
“They’re not at full speed yet, but getting closer,” Dykes said.
Freshman DT Jacobi Hunter sat out practice with a sore shoulder.
Asked about backup quarterback Zach Kline’s strong performance in Saturday’s scrimmage, Dykes said the evaluation process is non-stop.
“If we think we need to do something different, we’ll do something different,” he said. “I don’t think we have that feeling right now. The quarterback competition is the same as the competition at every position on our team.”
He stressed he prefers not to use two quarterbacks, but won’t completely rule out potentially giving Kline playing time alongside starter Jared Goff.
“You really would like to have one,” Dykes said. “But I think if they both merit an opportunity to play, you never say never. We think developing one quarterback always gives you a better shot to win than playing two guys.”