Cal Football: Chase Garbers is Out `Long Term' but Could Return This Season
Cal quarterback Chase Garbers will be out “long term” with an upper-body injury, but could possibly return prior to the end of the season, coach Justin Wilcox announced after practice Monday.
Wilcox provided no details on the exact nature of Garbers’ injury but it is believed to be a shoulder or collarbone issue.
UCLA transfer Devon Modster now becomes the starter, with freshman Spencer Brasch moved into the No. 2 spot.
Asked how important Garbers is to the offense, Wilcox said, "There's a reason he's the starting quarterback. But this is part of college football and football in general. If you're paying attention across the country, this happens."
The redshirt sophomore left Friday night’s game against Arizona State in the final 2 minutes of the second quarter when he was tripped and landed hard on his right arm or shoulder.
He returned to the sidelines from the locker room midway through the third quarter with his right arm in a sling.
"I feel awful for Chase," Wilcox said. "Like I said, I thought he was really coming into his own. We mentioned in that game, he finished 9 for 12 and two of those were dropped. So he was 11 for 12 in that game before he got injured.
"It'll be next man up and we have confidence in Devon and the rest of the players to step up to the challenge."
Modster is that next man. A junior who came to Cal a year ago from UCLA, Modster struggled after replacing Garbers against the Sun Devils.
He was 5-for-14 passing for 23 yards and threw an interception in the end zone just before halftime. Cal managed a total of 11 yards on four possessions in the fourth quarter before losing 24-17.
"We expect him to be better," Wilcox said of Modster.
Modster's transfer paperwork was not cleared by the NCAA until days before the Ole Miss game two weeks ago. He played one snap against the Rebels before being forced into duty vs. ASU.
Brasch, a consensus three-star prospect from Gilbert, Arizona, will be Modster's backup. Brasch has yet to play this season.
Cal returns to action Saturday at No. 13 Oregon, featuring All-American quarterback Justin Herbert.
Modster, a 6-foot-2, 210-pounder from Mission Viejo, played in five games for the Bruins as a redshirt freshman in 2017, passing for 671 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
He came off the bench for injured starter Josh Rosen against Cal that season, completing 14 of 18 passes for 191 yards without an interception in a UCLA victory.
At Tesoro High School, he threw 25 touchdowns and just five interceptions as a senior in 2015.
Garbers, who held off competition from Modster during spring workouts, was just hitting his stride for the Bears. He passed for a career-best 357 yards and four touchdowns in the win at Ole Miss the vaulted Cal to No. 15 in the Top-25 rankings.
He was 9 for 12 for 117 yards and a touchdown against ASU before suffering the injury.