As Cal contemplates its many possible bowl destinations - anywhere from El Paso or San Francisco to San Diego or Las Vegas - it does so without tailback Jahvid Best anywhere close to returning to action.
More than three weeks removed from his scary fall Nov. 7, which left him with a severe concussion and lingering back pain, Best still hasn't rejoined practice. He missed Tuesday's session at Memorial Stadium, as his teammates began to prepare in earnest for Saturday's regular-season finale at Washington, because he was in Pittsburgh to visit a concussion specialist.
Best will not play against the Huskies, coach Jeff Tedford said in his weekly news conference. That will mark the third consecutive game Best has missed since he hurdled high into the air against Oregon State, got pushed higher and landed awkwardly on his upper back. It also raises the distinct possibility that Best's season, and maybe his Cal career, is over. Best, a junior, has said he will decide after the season whether to enter the NFL draft in April. He had hoped to return for Saturday's game: When he spoke to reporters for the first time after his injury, on Nov. 18, he indicated he "expected" to play against Washington. But the back pain has persisted, and Cal understandably is proceeding cautiously in the aftermath of Best's second concussion this season.