|UCLA's quarterback woes continue|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 25 April 2008 12:31|
Each had to be carted off the field at spring practice, Cowan with a left knee injury and Olson with a broken bone in his right foot. Both of Thursday's injuries were flukes - neither occurred because of contact.
Cowan, who edged Olson out for the No. 1 job this spring, will be sidelined for an indefinite period with ligament and cartilage damage. Olson, a 25-year-old slowed by injuries throughout his long college career, is expected to be out for six to eight weeks.
Junior college transfer Kevin Craft, redshirt freshman Chris Forcier and converted wide receiver Osaar Rasshan will share the quarterback duties in the Bruins' camp-ending scrimmage Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
The injuries are an obvious blow for Rick Neuheisel, who became the Bruins coach in December.
``I'm OK under the circumstances,'' he said in a conference call Friday. ``These are two tough setbacks for two great kids who are certainly trying, who have been bitten by some bad luck over the course of their careers.
``But they've always bounced back and they will bounce back again.''
Cowan, who hurt his knee scrambling, missed eight games last season because of myriad injuries. Olson, sidelined by injuries for six games, was hurt this time when he planted his foot awkwardly.
Neuheisel doesn't yet know a timetable for Cowan's recovery, since doctors will wait for the swelling in his knee to go down to examine him further. Olson may have a screw inserted in his broken bone.
``There is a chance, should the MRI prove that reconstruction (surgery) is necessary, we could be without Pat in '08,'' Neuheisel said. ``But we'll keep moving forward. Even eight weeks from now, he (Olson) has most of June and all of July to get himself ready to go.
``I'm always one that looks to the bright side. I think these two will show their resiliency again. And it's a great opportunity for Kevin Craft to take another step in learning our offense and go out and gain some confidence. It's a great opportunity for Chris, and it's a great opportunity for Osaar Rasshan to prove that he's a quarterback.''
Rasshan and walk-on McLeod Bethel-Thompson had to fill in last season when both Cowan and Olson were out, but neither was effective. Coach Karl Dorrell was fired after the Bruins went 6-6 last year.