Five-star tight end Chris Clark has yet to practice with UCLA a week into training camp, but he could be ready by the Bruins’ season opener.
Head coach Jim Mora said on Saturday that the plan for Clark, who is suffering from mononucleosis, is for him to start doing some level of work next week. After that, he should be ready to play against Virginia on Sept. 5 at the Rose Bowl.
“That’s a tricky deal,” Mora said. “It’s more than just him feeling energy. They’ve got to make sure his spleen is OK.”
An enlarged spleen is one of the complications that can result from mononucleosis.
Mora also dismissed any chance of Clark sitting out the season entirely: “He’s playing versus Virginia. We didn’t bring him here to redshirt. I can promise you that.”
Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said earlier this week that without Clark, UCLA will implement a tight end role into its scheme with a combination of Thomas Duarte, Nate Iese and Colby Cyburt.