Cal will be without defensive linemen Aaron Maldonado and Stanley Mackenzie on Sunday morning. Two nose guards were expected to make significant contributions – Maldonado is listed as a starter – and his absence meant sophomore Brett Johnson would take over instead.
The Bears will start their unique season in a number of inappropriate ways. The outbreak of Covid-19 in Arizona State and Utah prompted Cal and UCLA to face off.
A positive Covid-19 test between Kell’s defensive linemen was the reason for not competing against Washington a week ago. Their quarantine, as a result of contact tracing prescribed by the Berkeley Department of Public Health, left the Bears in the position of players.
Johnson, who will replace Maldonado, is no stranger to the situation – Sophomore started nine games on the defensive line last season. He was switched to a defensive end in 2020, and his absence put redshirt sophomore JH Tevis on the spot. Kyle’s defensive line against the Bruins was scored by veteran senior Zenda Johnson.
Jasper Kenzo Sundin covers football and is the Deputy Special Issues Editor. Contact him at [email protected].