UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, viewed as a potential first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, ended what may have been his final college game on the sideline last night.
Rosen took a hard hit at the end of the first half of UCLA’s win over Cal and did not play in the second half, instead standing on the sideline in street clothes.
UCLA interim head coach Jedd Fisch, coaching the team for the first time in place of the recently fired Jim Mora, did not say what happened to Rosen but indicated that Rosen will be back for UCLA’s bowl game.
“We want to make sure that he is healthy for the bowl game,” Fisch said. “He got hit pretty hard on that one sack and he wants to make sure that he is healthy for the bowl game as well.”
But realistically, Rosen has to be considering sitting out his bowl game. At 6-6, UCLA will go to a lower-tier bowl, and last year some top draft prospects chose to skip their bowl games to stay healthy for the NFL. If Rosen was going to skip the second half to stay healthy for some mediocre bowl game, why not skip that bowl game to stay healthy for the NFL? Rosen has previously missed time with a shoulder injury and a concussion, and it would be hard to blame him if he decided not to risk any more injuries while he is still an amateur.
Rosen is a junior and could return for UCLA next season. But it’s too soon to say whether he will, especially considering that UCLA doesn’t even know who its coach will be next year. If UCLA hires someone Rosen thinks would help him continue to develop for the pros, he might be persuaded to come back. If UCLA hires someone who runs an offense that Rosen doesn’t think matches his skill set, he would certainly turn pro.
So much remains in flux for Rosen, who might represent UCLA in a bowl game in a few weeks, or might not play again until he’s in the NFL.