SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – After Cam Rising revealed just how bad his knee injury was, there is hope he can make his season debut this Saturday against Cal.
Head coach Kyle Whittingham said Utah was going to find out today if Rising would be cleared to play, but he will not make any announcement about his status until game time.
“If someone can give me one reason why it would help us win more to announce it, I’ll tell you everything,” Whittingham said Monday. “I can’t think of one thing. If you think of one thing, let me know, because I would be excited to hear it.”
Rising, who underwent knee surgery to repair multiple ligaments in January, is still participating in practice, while not taking away from anyone else’s reps.
“There’s still ways to work Cam into practice without diluting what the other guys are doing,” Whittingham said. “There’s different drills that he can participate in if it comes to that. That’s essentially what we’ve been doing some of the weeks prior. So he will continue to be involved, but if it’s deemed that he can’t play, that will be scaled obviously way back from what it would be if he’s able to go.”
Nate Johnson is listed as the starter, while Bryson Barnes is out with an internal injury suffered during Utah’s loss to Oregon State last Saturday.
Brandon Rose, who came into training camp as the backup to Rising before suffering an injury, is available. But Rose has missed a lot of time already.
“Yeah, he’s available, but he’s missed six or seven weeks of ball,” Whittingham said. “That’s a big chunk of time to miss to try to come back in and get caught up. We’re still trying to figure out Bryson’s situation as well, so that’s two unknowns at this point.”
The quarterback situation is not the only thing Whittingham is worried about. The run game has suffered because of injuries, and it’s not where he wants it to be.
“Not at all,” Whittingham said. “Not even close. That’s one of the disappointments. Last week we were without Ja’Quinden and Charlie [Vincent] and Micah [Bernard], so it’s been Jaylon Glover and he’s giving us good effort, but we’ve got to get five yards a carry. That’s kind of the benchmark of what we’re looking for and we’re not getting that. Not even close.”
Utah’s offense has produced just two touchdowns over the last two games.
#16 Utah (4-1) and Cal (3-3) will kick off at 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.