A sore back has cost freshman defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes valuable… (UCLA )
Another practice passed in which UCLA freshman defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes was limited to individual work on the side.
Vanderdoes was expected to be a big contributor at left defensive end, where the Bruins have a serious need. But he has been unable to participate in team drills because a sore back.
Vanderdoes underwent an X-ray on Sunday and Coach Jim Mora said, “We’re waiting for them to read it.” He added, “Eddie felt a lot better today.”
Mora said things are reaching a tipping point, with the season opener against Nevada less than three weeks away.
“You can’t replace the reps that he is missing right now,” Mora said. “Every day he doesn’t practice, it bothers me. We need him to contribute. He’s capable of contributing if he gets the practice time.”
Mora saw how injury delayed nose tackle Ellis McCarthy's development a year ago during training camp. McCarthy had minor knee surgery and was unable to make an impact during the season.
“Ask all the frosh, to a man, none have ever expected it to be this fast,” Mora said. “They never expected it to be this intense. They never expected the players to be this big and physical. Eddie hasn’t gotten a taste of that yet.”
The Bruins have a hole at left defensive end. Datone Jones graduated and Owamagbe Odighizuwa will miss the season following hip surgery. The hope was that the 6-foot-4, 305-pound Vanderdoes could be at least a partial solution.
“Fortunately, at that position you’re in limited space and you’re not covering a lot of ground,” Mora said. “Your techniques are fairly limited, so you can pick it up quickly.”
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