Thursday, March 31, 2011
OL Jeff Baca carted off practice field
By Peter Yoon
UCLA offensive lineman Jeff Baca rolled his left ankle Thursday during the second day of the Bruins' spring practice and was taken off the field on a golf cart. He was scheduled to have X-rays taken, but the results were not immediately available.
Baca, 6 feet 4, 304 pounds, was a starter two years ago who sat out last year while academically ineligible and is among UCLA's most versatile linemen. He is slated to start at tackle this season.
"It’s part of the game but we’ve got our fingers crossed that it won’t be a long-term deal," coach Rick Neuheisel said.
Any extended absence would be another entry on the long list of woes for an offensive line that seems to have been cursed since Neuheisel's arrival. Last year, three returning starters on the offensive line did not play: Baca, center Kai Maiava, who was injured, and tackle Xavier Su'a-Filo, who left for a two-year Mormon mission.
Connor Bradford, who has switched back and forth between offensive line and defensive line during his three years at UCLA, and Stan Hasiak, who sat out last year because of personal and academic issues, are listed behind Baca on the depth chart, but that doesn't necessarily mean they would be the only two competing for that job should Baca be out for an extended period of time.
"We’ll watch how that develops and we’ll make some decisions as to whether or not we need to move anybody," Neuheisel said.