BERKELEY -- Cal quarterback Nate Longshore knows what's at stake. He also wants to make sure he gives himself a chance to cash in.

Longshore says he may have to sit out the rest of spring practice after pulling his right pectoral muscle last week. His absence means Kevin Riley will be running for the starting job unopposed for a while, but Longshore wants to make sure he doesn't risk further injury and set himself back in the fall.

"I want to get reps, obviously," Longshore said. "But there's a lot of time between now and the season. If something is going to happen, I'd rather it happen now."

Longshore said he suffered the injury last Wednesday during practice but played through it Friday and Saturday. By the time Saturday rolled around, the area had become discolored and swollen.

Longshore said he isn't able to lift his arm right now.

"It wasn't that bad at first," Longshore said. "It just kept getting worse and worse. When it started changing colors, I figured I should probably give it a rest."

Longshore said it started to feel much worse on Friday but that he wanted to practice Saturday because "we just didn't do well as an offense on Friday. I wanted to come back and make a statement on Saturday."

Longshore said he could return in two weeks "if all goes well." Coach Jeff Tedford said the injury was day-to-day.

Big impression

One of the biggest revelations of spring practice so far has been the play of converted tight end Tad Smith, who spent his first three years at Cal as a defensive lineman. The Bears wanted to add a more physical player to their stable of tight ends after the departure of Craig Stevens, and Smith has proven himself to be a competent pass-catcher as well.

"I really believe he's going to be a really strong contributor this season," Tedford said. "He's a guy that has the body type and strength, but also the athleticism to do the other things we ask him."

Cameron Morrah is the next in line to replace Stevens as the Bears' starter, but Smith could push him for playing time. Morrah is the better receiver but lacks the physical qualities of Smith.

"It's a little bit different," said Smith, who played tight end in high school. "It's been awhile since I've run a route. But as far as blocking and the physicality of it, I'm pretty good on that. It's just been awhile since I've run a 20-yard route."

With Stevens and third-stringer Julian Arthur gone, Tedford felt it was necessary to provide more competition at tight end. But he made it clear that they didn't make the switch simply to provide depth. He expects Smith to contribute next season.

Cal has three other tight ends on its roster with a combined one game of experience.

"I was hesitant at first," Smith said. "I really liked the defensive line and the whole defense mentality. But once Coach Tedford explained it to me, I was all for it."

Smith had a good experience playing tight end at St. Mary's High School in Stockton. His quarterback there was current Arizona starter Willie Tuitama.

Extra points

The Bears have a handful of players out with injuries, including linebackers Zack Follett (concussion), D.J. Holt (concussion) and Mike Mohamed (hamstring) and running back Shane Vereen (hamstring). ... Cal's practice Saturday will be open to the public. It begins at noon at Memorial Stadium.

-- Jonathan Okanes