WR Jackson misses practice with bruised right leg
BERKELEY, Calif. -- California receiver DeSean Jackson isn't sure he'll play in the 110th Big Game after sitting out of Tuesday night's practice because of a bruised right leg.
Jackson, who has 60 catches for 681 yards and five touchdowns this season, severely bruised his quadriceps during a second-quarter punt return in Cal's loss at Washington on Nov. 17. The junior missed the rest of the game, and a week of rehabilitation hasn't healed him completely before Saturday's meeting with archrival Stanford.
"I'm feeling pretty good, but still not back to where I want to be," Jackson said. "Closer to game time, I'll see how I feel. ... Every year I've played in the Big Game, it's been one of those great years. It would be good to keep that tradition going on. Right now, I just want to protect my knee from whatever it is."
Jackson's knee aches when he moves on it because of the bruise, he said. That's a debilitating problem for a player whose game is based on speed, both as a receiver and a punt returner.
Jackson is expected to declare his eligibility for the NFL draft after the season, perhaps further complicating his decision to play on an injured leg.
"We want to go out on a note showing everybody we are an explosive team," Jackson said.
Cal already will be without freshman tailback Jahvid Best, who's likely out for the season with a hip injury. Best, Cal's second-leading rusher with 221 yards, was hurt while blocking on a kick return at Washington.
Best still holds out hope of returning for a bowl game, though California coach Jeff Tedford said his prized youngster's season probably is over.
"It scares me a little bit, but I think it's more precautionary," said Best, who's making his way around campus on crutches. "We're trying to play it safe and make the smartest decision."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press