Defensive end Chris McCain is back, but it looks like the Bears could be without running back Brendan Bigelow and safety Avery Sebastian, along with linebacker Nick Forbes and defensive end Brennan Scarlett on Saturday against Portland State.
Coach Sonny Dykes said after Monday night’s practice that Bigelow and linebacker Khairi Fortt were going through concussion protocols after taking hits Saturday against Northwestern. He expects Fortt to be cleared in time for practice Tuesday and believes Bigelow will be slowly integragted into practice during the week.
Sebastian will undergo an MRI on Tuesday for an ankle sprain. His status for this week is unclear.
Forbes (back) and Scarlett (hand) – both of whom missed the opener — may not be ready anytime soon, Dykes said.
“Nothing new. Forbes is going to be a deal that we’re just going to have to see how he’s doing and if he’s not getting better sit down and see if there’s some long-term ways to address the issue,” Dykes said.
“Same thing with Scarlett. At some point, they’ve either got to get cleared or get put on the shelf. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Sure didn’t sound optimistic.
Wide receiver Chris Harper, who banged up his shoulder in practice last Wednesday, then caught 11 passes on Saturday, sat out practice. He will be given every opportunity to rest up, Dykes said.
Defensive tackle Mustafa Jalil, who did not play Saturday, had his knee “flare up” during camp and has not been able to compete. It’s not a new injury, Dykes said, but Jalil has experienced “a decline in play” due to pain.
Dykes called Monday night’s practice “the best practice we’ve had. That’s very encouraging.”
He said he doesn’t expect backup quarterbacks Zach Kline or Austin Hinder will get the chance to play Saturday, citing Portland State as a legitimate threat.
“There were seven FBS teams that beat FCS teams on Saturday,” Dykes said. “Anybody who thinks this game is not going to be a dogfight has lost their mind.”
Portland State opened its season with a 57-17 win over Eastern Washington.