Cal will be without one of its top offensive threats for the rest of the season.
Coach Justin Wilcox informed reporters Monday night that running back Tre Watson, a senior, suffered a season-ending injury in the win over Weber State on Saturday. Wilcox wouldn’t get into specifics with the injury, other than to say it is a “lower body” ailment.
Per the San Francisco Chronicle, Watson was injured on a screen pass in the first quarter. He tried to return in the second quarter but “was left writhing in pain on the turf” following his next touch. He watched practice Monday “while leaning on crutches with a brace on his right knee,” the paper said. Wilcox would not say if Watson needs surgery.
“It’s never easy. You feel for a guy like that who’s put in so much time and effort into the program,” Wilcox said. “We’ll have his back and now it’s gonna be the next man up at that position and we really feel for him. He’ll bounce back from this, but it’s never easy going through that.”
Watson entered the season with 1,307 career rushing yards, 32 catches for 348 yards and 657 return yards. In parts of two games this year, Watson rushed 17 times for 83 yards and had five catches for 31 yards.
“It’s the unfortunate reality of this sport that those things happen. He’s a guy that’ll be able to come back from it though, he’s just got that about him,” Wilcox said.
With Watson out, Cal will lean on junior Patrick Laird and senior Vic Enwere in the running game. Laird, a former walk-on, has impressed early this year with 200 yards and three scores on just 15 carries. He also had a 54-yard touchdown catch in the Week 1 win at North Carolina. The 245-pound Enwere has 1,075 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career. His best season was in 2015, when he registered 505 yards and eight scores.
“Obviously Pat coming in and doing what he did and Vic, we still think is gonna give us some really good things, so it’s just continuing to develop that position, like any other, you’re always looking to develop the depth, but we feel good about the guys who are in that spot,” Wilcox said.
Cal, 2-0 on the year, hosts Ole Miss on Saturday night. The Rebels are also 2-0.
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