Could Injuries Affect Oregon’s Hopes of Reaching the National Championship?


During last Saturday’s game against Utah, the Ducks suffered some significant injuries to some key players. Cornerback Ifo-Ekpre Olomu left early in the game with a bad toe injury, while center Hroniss Grasu went down with a devastating knee injury late in the game. However, the most serious injury that occurred was that to tight end Pharaoh Brown, who was eventually carted off the field and will be out for the remainder of the season. Luckily, Ekpre-Olomu has confirmed he’ll play the Colorado game while Grasu will likely miss a couple of games.

Jake Fisher's return has helped the Ducks offensive line keep pressure off Marcus Mariota.

Photo by Craig Strobeck

Jake Fisher’s return has helped the Ducks offensive line keep pressure off Marcus Mariota.

Because of these injuries, questions have been coming up on whether the Ducks will still have the potential in performing against top caliber teams such as Florida State and Alabama. Plus, the fact that “the injury bug” has been biting the Ducks all season, results in Oregon placing an inexperienced front against these teams.

Throughout the season, the Ducks have figured out ways to make up for minor injuries that occurred to players such as kicker Matt Wogan and running back Thomas Tyner. However, it’s the final stretch now, and Oregon will need to develop a game plan that makes up for the injuries to these key players — and quickly.

When offensive tackle Jake Fisher went down early this season, the Ducks were substantially affected in terms of keeping pressure off quarterback Marcus Mariota. This was sadly evident in Oregon’s first loss of the season against Arizona, where the Wildcats were able to sack Mariota three times. This was mainly due to the lack of experience that Fisher’s replacement, Tyrell Crosby had against other teams. One of the biggest questions that Oregon faces is whether Brown and Grasu’s replacements will be able to have a high impact on the team.

At this stage of the season, the Ducks keeping their spot in the College Football Playoffs and pursuing the national championship is completely up in the air. One thing is for sure though, in order for the Ducks to continue performing at the strong level they do now, it’s “Next Man Up.”

Article referred to Justin Wise:

Top Photos by Craig Strobeck


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Austin Willhoft

Austin Willhoft

Hey! My name is Austin Willhoft and I'm currently a freshman at the University of Oregon studying Journalism. I lived my whole life down in sunny and beautiful Laguna Beach, CA where I completed all of my prior education. I always have been into sports writing/reporting mostly due to the fact that I love watching, analyzing, and playing all kinds of sports. However, if I were to narrow it down between two sports, it would be basketball and football, both of which I played heavily in high school. I'm thrilled to be working for and most importantly being a third generation to attend the UO. Sko Ducks!

  • maddog48

    One of my issues with Oregon’s coaching staff has always been their unwillingness to discuss injury issues. With respect to the offensive line, there have been major issues with injuries at the offensive tackle positions starting in training camp. Johnstone has been listed out for the season. Andre out indefinitely, whatever that means in coach-speak, and now Pierson is out. Obviously, Fisher’s absence against WSU and Arizona was huge. However, that was not the sole reason the Ducks lost to a mediocre Arizona team. As for Grassu, again we don’t have any idea if he will be back. I think Brenner will be fine if he manages to do a better snapping. I am not as concerned about tight end. We have two experienced players in Bayliss and Mundt who have both had their moments. I just wonder how they will fit into Oregon’s game planning going forward.

  • FunkyDucky

    DID NOT EVEN read this article. OF COURSE injuries could threaten!!!