UCLA camp notes: Injured players could return to practice Monday

» Defensive end Takkarist McKinley suffered a head injury during Wednesday morning’s practice and has not dressed or been out on the field since. Offensive lineman Tevita Halalilo is also suffering from a concussion, but head coach Jim Mora said the true freshman is now asymptomatic.

Both could return as soon as Monday, when UCLA will resume practices on campus in Westwood.

The same timeline goes for both left tackle Conor McDermott (knee) and center Jake Brendel (calf), both of whom have been dressed for practice but held out of team drills. Mora said McDermott, who underwent an MRI on Tuesday, could have participated today if necessary.

Receiver Tyler Scott appeared to pull his groin during a one-on-one drill.

» The quarterback competition finally seems to be shrinking down to one that includes just true freshman Josh Rosen and returning backup Jerry Neuheisel. Redshirt junior Mike Fafaul has only taken third-team reps for the last couple of practices. Continue reading

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UCLA camp notes: Jim Mora berates quarterback Josh Rosen

» UCLA’s practice on Wednesday morning was another uneven one for the offense, with quarterback Mike Fafaul throwing four interceptions in the span of about 10 minutes.

Still, it was true freshman Josh Rosen who got the biggest earful. The five-star quarterback out of Bellflower St. John Bosco was running situational drills at the end of practice when head coach Jim Mora took issue with his sense of “urgency.” Mora yelled at him for a few minutes, telling him he wasn’t in high school anymore before remarking, “The anointed one!”

The coach eventually turned toward reporters and said: “You can tell all your readers! This is why there’s no starter named!”

Rosen did not appear to say anything back. Safety Jaleel Wadood, who also played with Rosen in high school, figured the outburst wouldn’t be a major issue for the quarterback.

“He never gets rattled,” Wadood said. “That’s what I like about him the most. Even when things are going tough, and everything’s not going his way, he’ll find a way to dig it out. He’s a pretty strong kid.”

» Left tackle Conor McDermott (knee) and center Jake Brendel (calf) both dressed for practice today, but spent most of the time working on the exercise bike. The same goes for running back Bolu Olorunfunmi, who had a pack of ice wrapped around his right ankle after practice.

Defensive end Takkarist McKinley left with an undisclosed injury, and was sitting in the medical tent for part of practice.

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UCLA left tackle Conor McDermott undergoes MRI on knee

UPDATE: McDermott’s MRI showed no ligament damage.

UCLA left tackle Conor McDermott was scheduled to undergo an MRI on his knee Tuesday evening, but the injury is not expected to be serious.

“He has no swelling,” said head coach Jim Mora. “He really has very little pain. He felt a tiny little pop, so we just wanted to get it checked out. … He’s got no instability. Nothing like that.”

McDermott went down during Monday night’s practice, but walked off the field without a significant limp. Jake Brendel and Alex Redmond were the other offensive linemen who were also left practice on Monday, but Mora said there are no injuries or issues concerning the latter. Brendel is day-to-day with a calf injury. Continue reading

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UCLA camp notes: Three offensive linemen go down during practice

» UCLA lost three starting offensive linemen on Monday night when center Jake Brendel, right guard Alex Redmond and left tackle Conor McDermott all left the field with undisclosed injuries. None of them appeared to be limping significantly, and Brendel was smiling and laughing after the end of practice.

While the Bruins’ have improved depth on the offensive line this year, even the loss of one starter for an extended period of time could have a significant effect on the ceiling of this offense.

» Josh Rosen has not looked as consistently good as he did in spring, and the three-man quarterback competition has not been particularly compelling for the last few practices. Still, he is the one player that has the ability to make a truly head-turning play. On Monday night, those included a beautiful deep ball that went over right over Kenny Walker’s shoulder but off his hands, and a long touchdown pass to Nate Starks.

Rosen is slated to make his first media appearance this camp tomorrow afternoon.

» Hands down the most impressive play of the night belonged to Octavius Spencer. The freshman defensive back ran across the field and made a leaping interception to nab Mike Fafaul’s pass — one he held on too even as the receiver took out his legs mid-air.

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UCLA left tackle Conor McDermott downplays scuffle with Myles Jack

UCLA’s practice on Friday was marred by a scuffle between linebacker Myles Jack and left tackle Conor McDermott, but according to the latter, the two have already moved on.

“It was just the first full padded practice,” McDermott said Saturday, after the team’s sixth practice of training camp at Cal State San Bernardino. “It’s hot out there. We’re on the frontlines battling every day, every play. We’re both competitive people. That was yesterday and we moved forward. He’s one of my great friends. …

“We moved on right away afterwards. It was just the heat of the moment. The competitiveness of the day and that practice.”

Jack is one of UCLA’s best defensive players, but has displayed a short fuse through his first two years in Los Angeles — sometimes drawing flags for taunting. He was also kicked out of a practice at CSUSB last year after initiating an altercation with offensive tackle Caleb Benenoch, an incident he later described as “embarrassing.” Two years ago, he and offensive lineman Ben Wysocki were both ejected during camp.

However, Friday’s incident was arguably his worst display yet. Jack needed to be led away by linebackers coach Scott White, all while several NFL scouts were in attendance.

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