Injuries were again a major topic of discussion around the UCLA practice field, with several players sitting out or limited in practice and still questionable for Saturday's game at Stanford.
Coach Rick Neuheisel said F-back Anthony Barr saw a doctor because of a knee injury and that they are trying to work through it, but things weren't looking good.
"I’m not positive of the answer yet, but it looks as if he may have to have a meniscus surgery," Neuheisel said.
Barr has 15 yards rushing this season and had a one-yard touchdown run last week at Oregon State. He also had an 11-yard touchdown reception in the season opener against Houston and is a key cog in the Bruins' run game because of his blocking ability.
Quarterback Brett Hundley and cornerback Jamie Graham both had meniscus surgery this season. Hundley returned after about a four-week absence and Graham was cleared for full contact Wednesday after an absence of about six weeks, so should Barr have the surgery, it probably wouldn't be season ending.
Some other tidbits:
Graham's return comes at an opportune time as cornerback Sheldon Price (knee), safety Tony Dye (stingers), safety Dalton Hilliard (shoulder) and safety Alex Mascarenas (concussion) may not be back in time for Saturday's game. "Obviously we’re a little bit banged up, but hopefully we’ll be back to full strength when we get to game time," Neuheisel said. "Jamie Graham practiced today and looked good so I think he’ll be available should we need him."
Neuheisel said while much of the focus on Stanford is directed at quarterback Andrew Luck, Stanford's defense poses a pretty significant challenge as well. The Cardinal is leading the nation with 10.33 tackles for a loss per game and is second in the nation with 4.33 sacks per game. "That’s really the core of their defense is their ability to come after you," Neuheisel said. "They’ve got great ends that are collapsing the pocket and relentless counter moves. They’re playing pretty good. It looks like it’s a party at the quarterback."
Walk on receiver Jerry Rice, Jr. has been awarded a scholarship, but it won't go into effect until the season is over. Rice, the son of the NFL Hall of famer, has yet to appear in a game during his UCLA career but has been a solid practice player for the last two seasons. "I’m happy to know that my hard work is paying off, but it’s not over yet," Rice said. "I’m never satisfied. I’m working to get on the field."