Chipped Bone Plagues Longshore

Contact Ryan Gorcey at [email protected]

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Since junior quarterback Nate Longshore had his leg rolled over by an Oregon defensive lineman during the Cal football team’s 31-24 win over the then-No. 11 Ducks on Sept. 29, team officials have maintained that the injury was nothing more than a high ankle sprain.

Yesterday at a pre-Armed Forces Bowl press conference, coach Jeff Tedford admitted that, contrary to previous team reports, the injury was in fact more serious, something he has known since the injury occurred.

Aside from the ankle sprain, Longshore also suffered a chipped bone somewhere in the back of his ankle which has caused him continuous discomfort. Longshore has only missed one start since the injury and continues to play on the bad ankle.

“It’s been something that hasn’t gone away (since Oregon),” Tedford said. “There’s a little chip in the back part of it there. I didn’t get that it was a broken ankle. But Nate had talked to me about a little chip that was in the back there.”

The bone chip is a reason that the effects of what was said to be a high ankle sprain have dragged on for nine weeks, limiting the already-immobile quarterback’s range and his ability to step and throw.

“There’s no doubt about that,” Tedford said. “There’s no question that it’s hindered his ability to step up or to move around. He just hasn’t been able to do that.”

The injury has also made Longshore more tentative in the pocket and more apt to throw the ball away than to try to make a play with his legs.

“It’s just a natural thing that when you’re injured, that if someone’s coming at your injury, you’re probably going to protect it in some way,” Tedford said. “I think there’s probably been a time this year when people have been getting after him, and he’s had to get rid of the ball really quickly because they were getting after him.”

Asked why he did not decide to sit Longshore in favor of the more mobile Kevin Riley, Tedford said that he has deferred to his veteran quarterback on those decisions. He has asked Longshore on several occasions if the injury has caused his poor fourth-quarter performances, and each time, Longshore maintained that it does not.

“I’ve asked him numerous times about that, and that’s not the case,” Tedford said. “I think it’s more a case of a guy trying to be too perfect, a guy trying to get things done and maybe trying too hard.”

Longshore will remain the starter at least until the Armed Forces Bowl, and the ankle will be evaluated after the season is over.

“I think it would depend on how it heals,” Tedford said of possible surgery. “A lot of injuries end up that if it heals properly, you don’t have to do anything, and if it doesn’t, you try to be as timely as possible to not let him miss spring ball.”


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