Best greeted warmly before game
BERKELEY, Calif. -- California star tailback Jahvid Best joined his teammates for the opening coin toss before Saturday's 24-16 loss to Arizona, one after being knocked out following a frightening fall and concussion.
Best was injured in last week's 31-14 loss to Oregon State when he hurdled a defender at the end of a 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Best vaulted into the air over safety Cameron Collins and then was bumped even higher by another defender before falling on his back and head from about 8 feet in the air. Best's helmet came off on impact and he briefly lost consciousness. He spent one night in the hospital with the concussion and sore back and most of the week at his parents' home.
"I'm doing pretty good," Best said in an interview with Versus, which broadcast the game. "It was an unfortunate incident that happened, but I'm feeling good. I'm feeling a lot better and I'm just looking forward to getting back on the field with more of my guys."
That was the second straight week that Best sustained a concussion. The team has not said when Best might return. Cal has games remaining next week against Stanford and Dec. 5 at Washington.
Best was introduced before the opening coin toss, getting a warm ovation from the crowd. He then joined the captains at midfield, getting hugs from the Arizona players.
"It's been amazing, the amount of love and support I've been shown," Best said. "People came to visit me in the ER, I'm getting mail every day. I just got a lot of love. I want to say thank you to my family, my friends and all the fans around the world that have been showing me a lot of love."
Best, one of the most dynamic running backs in the country and a preseason Heisman Trophy contender, has 16 touchdowns and 867 yards rushing this season. He also has 22 catches for 213 yards. He had 29 yards on nine carries Saturday.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press