Cal running back Byron Cardwell will miss the 2023 season with an injury.

Head coach Justin Wilcox shared the news on Wednesday when he met with reporters following the first practice of fall camp. Cardwell transferred to Berkeley this offseason after spending two seasons at Oregon and was viewed as an instant-impact kind of runner to partner with Freshman All-American Jaydn Ott in the backfield.

Wilcox also announced that defensive back Colin Gamble and linebacker Sam Ross would miss the year with injuries. He did not specify what the injuries were or when they occurred.

“Unfortunately, they suffered injuries and we’ll be working with them in rehab and strength and conditioning to get them back as fast as possible, but they’ll miss this year,” Wilcox said.

Ott was tremendous in his debut season with the Golden Bears. He ran for 897 yards to rank fifth in the Pac-12. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry, found the endzone eight times, and finished the year fourth in the conference in all-purpose yardage with 1,218. But there was a heavy burden on his shoulders given the offense’s struggles around him.

This offseason, Cal loaded up at running back to help with depth. It added King Doerue from Purdue, Isaiah Ifanse from San Jose State, Justin Williams-Thomas from Tennessee, and Oakland native Jaivian Thomas out of the 2023 high school class.

“It takes more than one player to have a great offense,” Wilcox said. “You need more than one running back to be able to throw out there.”