Cal star tailback Jahvid Best was released from Highland General Hospital on Sunday and won't play Saturday against No. 18 Arizona. His status for the rest of the season will continue to be evaluated.
Best suffered a severe concussion Saturday after falling hard on his back and head at the end of a 7-yard touchdown run. Best attempted to hurdle Oregon State cornerback Tim Clark at the goal line and was hit in the air by Beavers safety Cameron Collins. Best flew several feet in the air and flipped onto his backside as he hit the turf. He was knocked unconscious, and play was halted for almost 15 minutes while medical personnel attended to him. Best was wheeled off the field on a stretcher.
"He's sore, but we're all thankful there's no severe damage and he's going to recover just fine," said Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who visited Best in the hospital Saturday night. "When I saw him last night, I felt really good about his condition. But you're always concerned. So I was really happy to talk to the doctor this morning and find out everything went fine overnight, and the day was fine. We're very thankful it turned out as well as it did, because it was a very dangerous situation."
Running backs coach Ron Gould joined Tedford at the hospital Saturday, and Tedford spoke with Best by phone Sunday. Fellow tailback Shane Vereen and fullback Brian Holley said they received text messages from Best on Sunday, assuring them that he's OK.
"He said he feels a lot better," Vereen said. "That was very reassuring. I kept replaying it in my head, so it was good to hear from him. You always want that little extra confirmation from him that he's OK. So we were able to get that."
Best spent the night at the hospital to be observed and also underwent CT scans and X-rays, which all came back normal.
"It was a little weird today because at our running backs meetings, I sit next to Jahvid," Holley said. "It was a little different not having him there. But it's reassuring that he's OK."
Tedford said Best likely will visit his teammates sometime this week, as soon as he is feeling better. Best, one of the most well-liked and respected players on the team, should draw an enthusiastic reception when he shows up.
"I know the guys are excited to see him and can't wait to see him," Tedford said. "That's what I told him on the phone tonight, and he told me to tell everybody hello."
Notes: Saturday's game has been picked up by Versus and will begin at 4 p.m. ... After Saturday's 31-14 loss, the Bears predictably dropped out of the Associated Press top 25 and didn't garner a single vote.