The Ducks’ victory against a physical Utah team this past Saturday was wild, and while Oregon was able to take advantage of Kaelin Clay’s careless turnover, which changed the complexion of the game; the Ducks paid the price by coming out of Salt Lake City scathed.
Oregon has found a way to maintain their level of dominance this season, despite some of their key players being sidelined with injuries. Left tackle Jake Fisher, who returned from a left leg injury in Week 7, helped restore a level of physicality that Oregon’s offensive line lacked during his absence, and the Ducks have been playing their best football of the season since his return. Furthermore, standout receiver Keanon Lowe was welcomed back by his teammates against Stanford.
But is it still all good? Oregon’s talented tight end Pharoah Brown was carted off the field after he suffered an injury to his right leg in Saturday’s game against Utah, and head coach Mark Helfrich announced yesterday that the junior would miss the remainder of the season. Also, the injury bug continued to bite Oregon on Saturday night as cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and center Hroniss Grasu both left the game with injuries.
Somehow Oregon has found a way to remedy each injury that it has faced, and considering the fact that the regular season is in its final few weeks, and with the Pac-12 championship game seemingly right around the corner, you could argue that this is a bad time for the Ducks to be dealing with injuries. However, Grasu’s injury isn’t expected to be serious, and Ekpre-Olomu told The Oregonian that he “tweaked” his big toe and would be ready to play against Colorado. Fortunately for the Ducks, they have a bye this week and it will give them the opportunity to rest some key players who are dealing with nagging injuries.
When you put things in perspective, and realize that the season is winding down, it’s hard to imagine any team being healthy at this point. Most guys are banged up, sore and physically exhausted. Most teams aren’t fortunate enough to have a bye-week this late into the season; it looks like the Ducks might be able to avoid a huge setback once again.
Top Photo by John Guistina
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