Stanford coach David Shaw said running back Christian McCaffrey is feeling better and is hopeful that the 2015 Heisman Trophy finalist will be back in the lineup against Colorado on Saturday.
McCaffrey has been sidelined since suffering an undisclosed injury in the first half against Washington State on Oct. 8. He did not play in last week’s win against Notre Dame and the Cardinal (4-2, 2-2 Pac-12) are continuing to take a cautious approach with him.
Shaw told reporters that McCaffrey was scheduled to do some on-field work Tuesday. He could be cleared to join practice on Wednesday.
“We’ll get him on the field to do some things today but probably won’t get him a chance to practice, if he can practice, until maybe a little bit tomorrow if he feels good today,” Shaw said. “If not, then we’ll do like last week and see if he can go on Friday.”
McCaffrey leads Stanford with 520 rushing yards and three touchdowns this year in a follow-up to his fantastic sophomore season when he set an FBS record with 3,496 all-purpose yards, including a school-record 2,019 yards on the ground.
Sophomore Bryce Love filled in for McCaffrey against Notre Dame and ran well, finishing with a career-best 129 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries. Love, who missed Stanford’s first game of the season with a foot injury, will get the nod again if McCaffrey is unable to play against Colorado (5-2, 3-1).
Love was originally charged with fumbling near the goal line in the fourth quarter during the win over the Irish but was credited with a 7-yard touchdown following a scoring change. Love also scored on the ensuing two-point conversion in a game the Cardinal won 17-10.
Fullback Chris Harrell said he’s comfortable with whoever runs the ball for Stanford.
“It’s different but I have total confidence in Bryce,” Harrell said. “I play with him every day and I see how hard he works, I see how hard he runs. For a guy his size he’s one of the grittiest runners I’ve seen in a long time. I like blocking for him just as much as I like blocking for Christian.”
In addition to McCaffrey being questionable, fullback Daniel Marx has been ruled out because of an injury. Right tackle David Bright is also questionable and Shaw said that Casey Tucker will start if Bright is unable to play.
Stanford is trying to get its season back on track following a pair of lopsided losses to Washington and Washington State followed by the closer-than-expected win over Notre Dame.