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October 10, 2011
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BERKELEY -- Junior California quarterback Zach Maynard would not admit it, and would not use it as an excuse, but, according to head coach Jeff Tedford, the Bears' signal-caller was suffering from a quad contusion during last week's 43-15 loss to No. 9 Oregon.
"He had a quad bruise, early in the game," Tedford said on Monday.
When asked if the contusion could have hindered Maynard's ability to use his legs to gain yards or to push off on short swing passes, Tedford said that it indeed could have.
Maynard's brother Keenan Allen -- who caught nine passes for a game-high 170 yards - said that he knew his older sibling was hurting, and tried to help pull him through.
"He had a little contusion, and said he couldn't throw off his back foot," Allen said. "That's why his passes were off. We just had to make the best of it. He definitely wanted to fight through it and help us out. He knew if he stayed out there, he felt like he still [was] a great asset to the team, even with the leg hurting, he was going to come out there and give it a fight. We had his back the whole way, so we were still trying to make plays.
"I definitely expect the most out of Zach this game, coming off the last game. I'm always going to expect a lot from him because he's my brother, but as far as the offense, we've got to put points on the board and help our defense."
This week, Maynard is healing and ready to go. The reason he did not finish out last week's contest was due to a hit that he took that left him "fuzzy."
"Zach got drilled and he was kind of fuzzy," Tedford said. "He wasn't hurt. He just had a little quad bruise. He could have, and wanted, to go back in, but it was just an opportunity to get Bridg some experience."
In his stead, sophomore Allan Bridgford went 8-for-19 for 103 yards in the fourth quarter.
"I was thinking about it at the time, to get Bridg in to get some experience, but when Zach got hit, you want him to play through it, you want him to keep competing, but at that point, it was good to get Bridg some turns and not let [Maynard] take any more hits," Tedford said. "He was going to get hit more. Then, we took Keenan out as well. At that point, when there's a couple minutes to play, if you keep Keenan in the game and something happens to him, you shoot yourself for doing it."
Returning to practice on Monday was tight end Spencer Ladner, who had a knee surgery during spring camp and another corrective procedure during fall camp, preventing him from playing at all in the first five games.
"He's up and ready to go," Tedford said of the big junior, who practiced for the first time on Monday.
The top two tight ends thus far -- Spencer Hagan and Anthony Miller -- have caught a combined 15 passes for 140 yards in Ladner's absence.
"Hagan and Miller have been the one and two, and then [Jacob] Wark. Hagan's done a great job, so it really hasn't affected much. It gives us some more depth."
Also returning was defensive end Trevor Guyton, who did not practice on Sunday.
Tedford said that Guyton - who leads Cal's defensive line with 15 tackles, and has 3.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, along with a fumble recovery touchdown - is fine, and will play on Thursday against USC.
Defensive back Marc Anthony did not practice, and is still day-to-day. Tedford would not reveal whether or not Anthony would be ready to go on Thursday, citing his desire not to give the Trojans a competitive advantage by revealing the status of the junior's injury.
Tedford said that there is still no word on the status of redshirt freshman wide receiver Kaelin Clay, who has yet to play because of an unspecified academic issue.
"Nothing new," said Tedford, who is not sure whether or not Clay will play this year. "I don't know. There are still things being determined, so it's kind of out of our hands."