Wednesday, October 25, 2006

SF Chronicle: Bye week is recovery week


Lynch, teammates have full schedule of healing

Rusty Simmons, Chronicle Staff Writer

It sounded as if Cal coach Jeff Tedford was going to read his entire roster when he talked about the players whose health will benefit from this week's bye.  Junior tailback Marshawn Lynch is expected to be aided more than any of them because he has dealt with a sprained ankle from the season opener at Tennessee, hurt his other ankle in the first half against Oregon and has consistent lower back pain.  "I haven't felt healthy all year," he said. "You have minor setbacks, but I've just had to fight through it to be there for my team."  Lynch's teammates need him to be in the trainers' room this week.  "It will be a week of rest and rehabilitation," Tedford said. "We're going to be very proactive with his treatment to try to settle his ankles down to get him back at full speed for the stretch run."

It's probably unlikely that one week of rest will be enough for Lynch to return to full health, but even a somewhat healthier back is scary to consider. Despite the injuries, he leads the Pac-10 in rushing (113.4 yards a game) and touchdowns (eight rushing and three receiving).  "Obviously, I have a lot of belief in Marshawn, and I think he's a great football player," Tedford said. "I don't know if the Heisman voters are missing something or not, but I would find it hard to believe that there are many football players much better than him throughout the country."  Lynch has his own Heisman favorites:  "I think our offensive linemen and our defense should be promoted for the Heisman," he said. "We got five (linemen) who should be up and running for it right now." Too close for comfort: Tedford said he was impressed with how he team handled the Washington game, the Bears' first close game of the season.

Read the entire article here.

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