The Oregon Ducks continue to pile up victories and make us forget about their season-opening loss to LSU, but the injuries to their skill players continue.
Already without star tailback LaMichael James, Oregon lost starting quarterback Darron Thomas to a knee injury during Saturday’s victory over Arizona State. It’s being called a “sprain” right now.
Coach Chip Kelly is saying very little.
My guess is that we won’t see Thomas or James this week. Oregon more or less gets a freebie against a Colorado team that is just as banged up if not more on both sides of the ball, having lost linebacker Doug Rippy and tailback Rodney Stewart.
Considering that (a) Kenjon Barner was great in relief of James last weekend, rushing for 171 yards, and (b)Bryan Bennett held his own replacing Thomas, looking especially dangerous with his feet, there’s no need to rush James and Thomas back.
It’s debatable whether or not James and Thomas would even be needed for the following game against Washington State.
What we do know is that the Ducks really want their big guns back for a crucial three-week stretch in November that begins with trips to Washington and Stanford and ends with USC coming to town.
Expect Kelly to play it conservative for his stars over the next week or two and give them some rest to heal up.