In a college football season riddled by injuries, the Cal Golden Bears have been affected more than most teams. The Bears had 13 players missing from Friday night’s game against the Washington Huskies, and they lost even more during the game, most notably senior starting quarterback Zach Maynard.
Maynard went down with a left knee injury late in the fourth quarter. He was caught from behind on a quarterback carry but when he fell to the ground, another UW defender fell on top of him, wrenching Maynard’s body around and apparently twisting his knee the wrong direction.
The quarterback stayed on the ground for several minutes before being helped from the field. Maynard didn’t put any weight on his left leg as he hopped off with assistance.
ESPN sideline reporter Jemele Hill said it looked “pretty serious,” and moments later, Maynard was carted to the locker room.
Maynard will have an MRI on his left leg and knee, but the team may not have the results until Monday. With just two games remaining, a severe injury would likely end Maynard’s college career.
The senior was 15 of 29 for 175 yards against Washington, with one interception.
He was replaced by redshirt junior Allan Bridgford, who went 2 of 7 for 26 yards in the final four minutes. Prior to this game, Bridgford’s only playing time this season came in the opener against Nevada, when he went 2 of 9 for six yards.
After the game, Cal coach Jeff Tedford confirmed that Bridgford would take over as starter if Maynard can’t play.
Maynard wasn’t the only Golden Bear hurt against the Huskies.
His offensive line, which has had enough problems trying to protect their QB this season, got even more questionable with injuries to both tackles.
Senior left tackle Tyler Rigsbee suffered an undisclosed injury, and senior right tackle Matt Summers-Gavin went down just a few plays after Maynard. Summers-Gavin, who missed time at the beginning of the season with an MCL injury, was examined on the field by the training staff before gingerly walking off.
No updates were available on their statuses immediately after the game, but the team did confirm that defensive end Keni Kaufusi suffered a broken knee cap. The junior had six tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles heading into the game.
CalSportsDigest’s Dan Greenspan reported that defensive end Deandre Coleman, who missed the entire week of practice with a sprained ankle, was forced into action against UW because the depth chart was so thin due to injuries.
The next two weeks won’t give the Bears, who play 12 straight games without a bye week this season, any relief. They host the Oregon Ducks next weekend and wrap up the disappointing year in Corvallis against Oregon State.