Good news, bad news for Bruin defensive backfield

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel had a bit of good news and a bit of bad news for UCLA fans on Monday.

Neuheisel said that junior cornerback Sheldon Price (knee) could return for the Bruins’ Thursday matchup with Arizona, but added that the team is considering a redshirt for senior safety Tony Dye.

Dye has battled neck issues for several weeks, last playing against Texas in Week 3, but the team could apply for a redshirt if the pain and numbness persists, as Dye would have played in less than 30 percent of the team’s games.

“The big question is Tony Dye; Tony is in a situation where he’s got stingers a neck issue, and obviously no one wants him to be hurt any more than he currently is. (It is) where he hits something, he gets partially numb. Obviously that’s dangerous, and we have to make sure that folks that know, do what’s right for Tony.”

Dye has practiced sporadically over the last month, often in a red non-contact jersey. Dye ranks 10th on the team with 19 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss after he came into the season as the team’s most experienced defensive leader.

Dye, who was listed on several preseason award watch lists, has played an integral role in the defense since he was a true freshman in 2008, when he played in 11 games. He’s started 28 games for the Bruins since.

Neuheisel added that sophomore safety Alex Mascarenas is questionable to return for Arizona, while Jamie Graham is out.