Arizona Wildcats linebacker Jake Fischer, who sat out last week’s game at Cal because of a knee injury, is listed as probable on the team’s official injury reprt, released Thursday afternoon.
Fischer was also listed as probable last week, but coach Rich Rodriguez said Wednesday that Fischer wasn’t able to do anything in practice leading up the Cal game.
“This week, he’s at least doing half of it,” Rodriguez said.
Fischer, the team’s middle linebacker, is third on the team with 47 tackles and his leadership on the field is invaluable.
“Jake has always been the guy who keeps everybody organized,” Rodriguez said.
Arizona went with six defensive backs last week against Cal’s spread offense but should be in its base 3-3-5 this Saturday night against UCLA (8 p.m., ESPN).
Fischer is the only player who appears on the injury report, other than two who are known to be out — receiver Austin Hill (knee) and special teams player Trevor Ermisch, who suffered a torn ACL last week.
On the UCLA side, running back Jordon James (ankle) and left tackle Simon Goines (knee) appear doubtful to play this week.
James is the team’s leading rusher, with 80 carries for 471 yards and five touchdowns, despite appearing in only five games. Paul Perkins is next with 75 carries for 334 yards.
UCLA was already starting two true freshman offensive linemen on the right side — guard Alex Redmond and tackle Caleb Benenoch — before Goines’ injury. The Bruins have shifted Xavier Su’a-Filo from left guard to left tackle and put in a third true freshman on the offensive line, Scott Quessenberry at guard.
Fischer, who was injured in the fourth quarter of the Colorado game on Oct. 28 on a non-contact play, said “he’s fine and I’m ready for this game.”
Overall, the Wildcats have been reasonably healthy this season, which could coincide with what Rodriguez says is the “least amount of hitting in practice I’ve ever done” — which is also a trend nationally.
“I think fundamentally we are probably a little bit behind where I’d like to be,” he said, “but we’ve stayed healthier for whatever that’s worth.”