LT Simon Goines, LB Eric Kendricks practice lightly

Wrecked by injuries, UCLA started three true freshmen on its offensive line in a 42-14 loss at Oregon.

Reinforcements are working back. Sophomore Simon Goines (knee) and Conor McDermott (shoulder) both practiced Tuesday, albeit without pads. Goines, who started at right tackle before moving to left, was still limping and had his right knee wrapped.

(Starting left tackle Torian White’s season ended on Oct. 3 when he broke a bone and tore a ligament near his ankle.)

“They develop a sense of urgency to get back,” head coach Jim Mora said. “I feel that with a lot of guys. You look at our injury report and it’s pretty vast. You see a bunch of guys that want to get back out here and do whatever they can, whatever they can.”

Linebacker Eric Kendricks, who played through a back bruise with the help of an anesthetic shot on Saturday, was at practice without pads. Continue reading

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Jim Mora: DE Ellis McCarthy doubtful for Saturday

– According to UCLA head coach Jim Mora, nothing about Cal quarterback Jared Goff’s film makes him look like a true freshman.

“His poise for his age and his experience (stand out),” Mora said. “His ability to get the ball out of his hand quickly and throw accurately. His decision-making. I think he’s a really good football player.”

– Defensive end Ellis McCarthy returned to practice after suffering a head injury against Utah last Thursday. He did light work on the sideline and is still doubtful to play Saturday. Continue reading

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Marcus Rios prepares return to football after life-threatening infection

Just a few months after fighting for his life, Marcus Rios believes he is ready to play football again.

Last fall, the UCLA cornerback came down with a rare fungal infection, one that spread from his sinuses to the base of his brain.

In February, he went through four different surgeries. He was confined to UCLA Medical Center for nearly a month, and had a catheter pumping antibiotics through his arm for months after that.

Two weeks ago, he finally had the line removed. On Tuesday, he returned to practice for the first time.

“I didn’t think it would come so fast,” said Rios, who played nine games as a freshman. “It ended up happening. I got a call from my doctor saying the medication’s going good. Your body’s responding to it well. There’s no need for a PICC line anymore.” Continue reading

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