UCLA has lost a third player to a season-ending concussion, with coach Chip Kelly announcing Wednesday that senior tailback Bolu Olorunfunmi would be sidelined for the rest of 2018.
Olorunfunmi joins linebacker Jaelan Phillips and tailback Soso Jamabo in having his season cut short by a concussion. Olorunfunmi’s injury ends his college career because he appeared in all six games this season and is not eligible to redshirt, unlike Phillips and Jamabo.
“It’s unfortunate, a great young man,” Kelly said of Olorunfunmi, “but he’s not going to be able to play the rest of the year.”
Olorunfunmi was UCLA’s leading ballcarrier last season with 565 yards rushing, but his role diminished after getting a combined 24 carries for 69 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games this season. He was mostly used in short-yardage situations against Fresno State and Colorado, getting a combined seven carries for 16 yards and one touchdown, before getting no carries in either of the last two games.
Olorunfunmi continued to play on special teams after losing his spot in the tailback rotation to the trio of Joshua Kelley, Martel Irby and Kazmeir Allen.
Asked if it was unusual for players to be ruled out for the season with concussions with six games left on the schedule, Kelly said, “I don’t ever think any injury is unusual. I mean, it’s a sport where I think everybody deals with it and it’s just part of what happens. Sometimes they happen at one position, sometimes they happen on one side of the ball. I don’t think there’s a pattern, but you just have to deal with it and you have to hope that you have guys behind them who can step up.”
Olorunfunmi had missed three practices during training camp because of an unspecified injury, though it was unclear if it was also a concussion.
Kelly also announced that defensive lineman Marcus Moore had been suspended indefinitely for violating team standards.
Moore becomes the seventh UCLA player to be suspended this season after Jamabo, defensive linemen Osa Odighizuwa and Moses Robinson-Carr, tight end Devin Asiasi, center Boss Tagaloa and defensive back Mo Osling were suspended earlier for various periods for violating unspecified athletic department policies.
Kelly said he was not sure whether Moore might be able to play again this season.
Left tackle Andre James missed a second consecutive practice after his father, Marcus, died earlier this week following a lengthy battle with testicular cancer. … Receiver Kyle Philips also was absent during the portion of practice open to the media. Philips has not attended practice for the last 1½ weeks because of an unspecified injury. … Defensive back Nate Meadors, right tackle Justin Murphy and tight end Jordan Wilson wore yellow jerseys to denote they were recovering from injuries and off limits from contact.