Cal running back Brendan Bigelow was medically cleared to play Saturday against Portland State after being hit in head in the Bears’ season-opening game vs. Northwestern.
Bigelow practiced for the second straight day Thursday and was given the all clear to go Saturday. Coach Sonny Dykes said he anticipates Bigelow will start.
Defensive end Chris McCain and backup receiver Kenny Lawler, both of whom took head blows in practice this week, are likely out, Dykes said.
The irony with McCain, of course, is he was reinstated by the Pac-12 on Monday after being ejected from the Northwestern game for “targeting” the Wildcats’ quarterback on a roughing penalty. And now he’s out, anyway.
Junior JC transfer Kyle Kragen will start in McCain’s place.
His absence is the fourth among players projected to be starters on the Cal defense. Safety Avery Sebastian is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, and defensive end Brennan Scarlett (hand) and middle linebacker Nick Forbes (back) have yet to play.
No. 2 running back Daniel Lasco is likely to play after suffering a slight hamstring strain in practice Wednesday. He practiced lightly on the side Thursday, Dykes said, but should be ready Saturday.