A football coaches worst nightmare is seeing a key player at a vital position go down with a season-ending injury. That nightmare turns into a night terror when that player is lost during preseason camp.
That’s exactly what UCLA head coach Chip Kelly is feeling as he announced Sunday evening that senior linebacker Josh Woods was lost for the season due to a knee injury.
“He’s everything you want in a football player,” Kelly said, “and that will be a big hole for us to try to replace because we don’t have a lot of depth at that position to begin with. But our thoughts right now are with Josh.”
“I saw the whole play,” linebacker Rahyme Johnson said in a report by the LA Times, “and as soon as it happened, the only thing I thought was, ‘Man, get up [No.] 2, get up, get up.’ ”
Linebacker Leni Toailoa was quoted saying, “Seeing that he couldn’t get up and walk it off and hearing him scream, we knew it was bad as soon as he fell.”
A starter at inside linebacker, Woods had earned the nickname “Coach Woods” due to his leadership on the field. The senior was just coming off a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the majority of last season and the spring.
The Bruins start their 2018 season by hosting Cincinnati on September 1st before coming to Norman to play the Sooners on September 8th. You can read our UCLA preview here.