There is one term that holds a universal darkness in the sports world — injury. The scary, six-letter word that no one likes to speak of has undoubtedly affected Cal football in 2018. Here are updated injury reports up to this point in the season:
Prior to the first snap of 2018, the Bears announced that inside linebacker Gerran Brown was forced to medically retire — an unfortunate storyline to kick off the season. Additionally, freshman running back Johnny Adams Jr. was ruled out for the season with a lower-body injury, and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Greyson Bankhead was sidelined with an upper-body injury. All things considered, these were not catastrophic losses to the Bears’ depth chart.
Once play began, however, Cal took a huge hit, losing redshirt sophomore linebacker Cameron Goode for the season to a lower-body injury in game one against UNC. Goode, a naturally athletic and lengthy player, was a prolific pass rusher for Cal and was primed to have a breakout season.
Redshirt sophomore running back Derrick Clark and sophomore offensive lineman Mike Saffell are also recent additions to the list of players whose seasons have been cut short, both because of lower-body injuries. Clark saw only two rush attempts in the first two games of the season in which he was active. Saffell, however, will be a much more significant loss for the Bears offensive line, as he recorded significant playing time in six of seven of Cal’s matchups.
While redshirt junior quarterback Ross Bowers and junior wide receiver Jordan Duncan have not officially been ruled out for the season, they are both currently sidelined with upper-body injuries. Duncan took to social media to announce that he had surgery, and there is lingering skepticism as to when the players will return, if, in fact they do.
With every injury, Cal football has remained resilient. Though nobody wants to see a player down, the motto remains: next man up.