Cal outside linebacker Kuony Deng, one of Cal's best defensive players, is unlikely to play against Sacramento State on Saturday, but his long-term prognosis has yet to be determined.
"I would call him doubtful for the game," Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said Wednesday evening. "We're holding out some hope, but it's looking doubtful right now."
Information is still being gathered to determine how long Deng will be sidelined.
"Not enough information yet to give you anything more," Wilcox said. "It's still being discussed with those people who are experts.
"There's more than one opinion. There's a lot being determined; it's not for me to discuss."
If Deng cannot play, Braxten Croteau and Marqez Bimage would share the outside linebacker spot opposite the Bears' other outside linebacker, Cameron Goode.
Croteau started one game last season and has played in one game this season, recording one tackle. Bimage transferred to Cal from Texas in the offseason after graduating from Texas and has impressed Cal coaches. He has played in one game this season and had two tackles.
Cal's defense will suffer without Deng, however. Although Goode is the best player on the Bears' defense, Deng would be in the conversation for the second-best Bears defender. He and Goode form the best unit on the team. Deng had just three tackles this season before getting injured in the first half of Saturday's 34-32 loss to TCU. He spent the rest of the game on the sidelines on crutches, suggesting it is a leg injury.
If Deng misses additional games, his absence might be more noticeable in conference games. Cal opens Pac-12 play against Washington on September 25 in Seattle.
Cover photo of Kuony Deng by Kevin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports
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