UCLA vs. Colorado: Dorian Thompson-Robinson practices after bye week recovery

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is brought down for a loss
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is brought down for a loss by Oregon safety Vernon McKInley III in the fourth quarter at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Oct. 23.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times )

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson benefited from a bye week, using the time to recover from a thumb injury that forced him to miss the Utah game.

UCLA struggled against Utah without veteran quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the lineup. His return to practice was among the encouraging signs for the Bruins leading up to a home game against Colorado on Saturday.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson: First practice after thumb injury recovery ‘felt pretty good’

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson passes the ball against Arizona State
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson passes the ball against Arizona State on Oct. 2 in Pasadena.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

It was a bye leading to hello.

UCLA welcomed back quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson as a full participant in practice Monday, without any hand wraps or limitations, after the team’s week off provided extra rest for his injured right thumb.

“The bye week came at a pretty good time,” said Thompson-Robinson, who was hurt on his team’s final drive against Oregon late last month and sat out the game against Utah the following week. “You know, I got a full two weeks off of not having to use my hand or anything, so the first day of practice for Colorado being Monday today and felt pretty good.”

Thompson-Robinson speaking with the media was another sign he’s expected to play for the Bruins (5-4 overall, 3-3 Pac-12) against Colorado (3-6, 2-4) on Saturday evening at the Rose Bowl.

Thompson-Robinson participated in warmups for the game against Utah before deciding his thumb had not sufficiently healed to allow him to play.

“It just didn’t feel 100%, or at least close enough to where I could give the team the best chance to win, and at the end of the day that’s my job,” Thompson-Robinson said, “and so I figured Garbs would have the best shot for us.”

UCLA football coach Chip Kelly has failed to prove he is capable of matching athletic director Martin Jarmond’s elite expectations for the Bruins.

Oct. 31, 2021

Garbers completed 27 of 44 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns with one interception during UCLA’s 44-24 loss to the Utes.

“Being his first start, I thought he handled it really well, that’s a really tough place to play,” said Thompson-Robinson, who signaled in the play calls from the sideline. “I was able to be in his ear for most of the game, you know we’d talk after every drive on the sideline and stuff like that and I’d give him kind of my feedback of what I’m seeing on the field and stuff like that and so I thought he took that in really well, he used that to his advantage and he played really well. Obviously, he had some plays he wants back, but for that being his first start and being so young, I thought he played really good.”

Missing the end of the Oregon game and the entire Utah game was difficult for Thompson-Robinson because they were opportunities lost for the Bruins, who now need lots of help to get back into contention in the Pac-12 South.

“Those are two of the games I had circled on my calendar for the year and obviously walking out of the tent and seeing the last play of the game against Oregon was really tough,” Thompson-Robinson said, referring to Garbers’ final pass that was intercepted by the Ducks, “but you know the biggest thing for me is being there for Garbs, being there for my teammates and really making sure I can be the best guy I can to help this team win.”


Coach Chip Kelly would not divulge the disciplinary measures the team took against freshman defensive lineman Jay Toia after a video emerged showing Toia making derogatory and threatening remarks toward a group of female students in an elevator. Kelly also would not say whether Toia could play against the Buffaloes.