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Cal Football: OLB Kuony Deng Ruled Out for Washington Game

He is out for Saturday's contest; long-term status still undetermined

Cal will play its second consecutive game without outside linebacker Kuony Deng.

Cal head coach Justin Wilcox announced Wednesday night that Deng has been ruled out for Saturday's night's Pac-12 opener against Washington in Seattle. If or when he will return this season has yet to be determined.

"Kuony will not be going this weekend," Wilcox said. "In terms of the time [long-term prognosis] it's hard for us to say quite yet, based on what the doctors and Kuony have discussed and what they shared with us, but he won't be going this weekend."

In preseason, it appeared Deng and fellow outside linebacker Cameron Goode formed the best position unit on the team, and the Bears will miss Deng's experience and play-making ability.  This is his first season as an outside linebacker after being a starting inside linebacker the past two seasons.

In his only full game this season, Deng recorded three tackles against Nevada. He suffered an apparently leg injury in the first quarter of the Bears' second game, against TCU.  He was on crutches for the rest of that game, although Cal has not released the the exact nature of the injury.

Braxten Croteau started in Deng's place last week against Sacramento State, and he is expected to be the starter against Washington, which beat Arkansas State 52-3 on Saturday to improve to 1-2. Croteau started one game last season.

Marqez Bimage, a graduate transfer from Texas, also has seen significant playing time at outside linebacker in Deng's absence and is expected to play a lot on Saturday.

Croteau and Bimage have recorded four tackles apiece this season, and Bimage also has one tackle for loss.

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Cover photo of Kuony Deng by Kelvin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports

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Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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