BERKELEY, Calif. – California head coach Jeff Tedford tried to stop the questions about injures before they began Thursday morning, declaring that everyone would be a “game-time decision,” but his blanket declaration regarding more than a half-dozen players wasn’t enough.
“You guys kill me. You just don’t give up,” Tedford said with a laugh to the group of reporters outside Memorial Stadium.
Tedford did provide some additional details, most notably at the quarterback position, where redshirt senior Zach Maynard did not practice for the third consecutive day because of a left leg injury.
Junior Allan Bridgford will “most likely” start, Tedford conceded, with Maynard, who completed 20-of-41 passes for 218 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in last season’s 43-15 loss at Oregon, in a secondary role if available.
“Most likely if he is ready to play, he’ll be there for a backup type of roll, but we’ll have to see how much he progresses over the next two days,” Tedford said. “He’s gotten better each and every day.”
Maynard was injured in the fourth quarter of last Friday night’s 21-13 loss against Washington, with Bridgford completing 2-of-7 passes for 26 yards trying to drive Cal for a tying score.
Offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik was pleased with the way Bridgford played in difficult circumstances.
“I think he was real good. That’s hard to do now, to sit there and all of a sudden walk in with the lights on you, and I think he responded well, especially given that situation,” Michalczik said.
Tedford did not offer status updates regarding other injured players, including left tackle Matt Summers-Gavin (knee), defensive lineman Kendrick Payne (finger), and inside linebacker Jalen Jefferson (concussion).
No Special Recognition for Allen
Junior wide receiver Keenan Allen will not play for the second consecutive week because of a left knee injury, and Tedford did not know if Allen would be able to play in the season finale at Oregon State next Saturday night.
“It really depends how he feels,” Tedford said.
Tedford said that there will be no special recognition for the school record-holder in career receptions in what could be his final home game as a college player, with Allen widely expected to declare for the NFL draft.
Time for Tagaloa
Freshman offensive tackle Freddie Tagaloa played in the fourth quarter against Washington, replacing incumbent Tyler Rigsbee, and Michalczik said Tagaloa would continue to see more game action going forward.
“He’s got a bright future, and we’re going to keep getting him time,” Michalczik said.
Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan