Fresno State running back Marteze Waller, held out of his fifth straight practice Wednesday, might miss the rest of spring camp.
A lower-quad injury isn't expected to hamper the sophomore-to-be beyond camp, but coaches are leaning toward rest as part of a cautionary stance.
"It's nothing serious," said Waller, who was hurt during practice March 4. "I'm still able to go over plays, learn the plays and get better that way. I have no idea when I'll be back. I know I like competing."
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Waller is the most experienced running back in the Bulldogs' no-huddle, spread offense and has been competing for the starting spot. Among his chief competition is Josh Quezada, the 5-foot-11, 225-pound transfer from Brigham Young.
Waller, who seemed to have the inside track on the job, didn't seem worried that the missed time could cause him to slip on the depth chart. After all, he has the most rushing yards of all returners with 174 on 41 carries (4.2 average) in eight games last season.
Running backs coach Joe Wade said a starter likely won't be determined until a week or two before the Aug. 29 opener against Rutgers.
"Spring is just an opportunity for everybody to get reps," Wade said. "It's unfortunate what happened to Marteze. I know he's working hard to get back out there. All reps help. The best thing, though, is to make sure he's healthy for the summer.
"Him going down puts more opportunity in somebody else's hands to get better. I'm not real caught up who's the starter, who's not. I just want them all to get better and the stuff will sort itself out. We've got a long ways to go before Rutgers. Even when we do get to Rutgers, it's still going to come down to who produces when they're in games."
None of the running backs stood out much at Monday's first scrimmage. The entire offense struggled, for the most part. Walk-on Darryl Cash did have a 60-yard touchdown run off a fumbled snap and finished with 10 carries for 92 yards.
"He's done a nice job," Wade said, "showing he's a pretty dependable guy in terms of being able to do multiple things out of the backfield."
Quezada, who sat out last season after transferring, rushed for 803 yards and six touchdowns in 26 games over two seasons at BYU.
The physical back, a junior next season, didn't do anything that stood out during the scrimmage, but he has shown consistency throughout the workouts.
"Having played at another place and competed pretty well, Josh knows what it takes and he's done a great job in our offseason," Bulldogs coach Tim DeRuyter said. "The thing I think most of about our running backs is we have pretty good depth there."
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