Oregon struggled in the first half of an eventual 59-17 victory over California, but the injuries continue to rack up. Dion Jordan was out of the game, they lost backup safety Avery Patterson, and Kenjon Barner and Marcus Mariota had to sit for a period of time in the game. How big of a concern are these injuries as we head into the home stretch?
Raymond: Injuries are a very big concern this time of year especially as they close in on a national championship berth. You need all your best players on the field. Barner and Mariota came back but Jordan is probably their top pass rushing threat and Patterson has had a very good year.
Joe: Huge. Mariota should be fine and we’re all hoping for the best with Barner, but the injury that was likely the most severe in the Cal game was the knee injury sustained by Avery Patterson. Knee injuries have been a common and devastating occurrence for Oregon safeties this season. Patterson’s predecessor at the rover, the NFL-bound John Boyett, has always dealt with knee injuries. It cost him the rest of the season, and I remember when we were talking about the subject early this season on the roundtable.
Patterson has arguably been the best safety in the Pac-12 this season, and the transition from Boyett to Patterson has been seamless at the back. If he is out for the year, then K-State is the top team in college football. The Ducks can’t afford to be another man down at safety. The impacts of Barner and Mariota are well-known throughout the nation, but Patterson is another one of those star Ducks defenders who doesn’t get enough credit on the national stage and would be a huge loss as well.
Mike: I’m concerned due to the team facing a punishing running game this weekend and depth would be a nice thing to have. Injuries happen and Oregon has been lucky for most of the season, but they’ve had people step up. You just hope that the team can make it to the break between the conference championship game and BCS title game to rest.
Ricky: I’m not too concerned, especially with the Mariota and Barner injuries. I see these two as “Collin Klein” injuries. In the game against OK State, Klein left the game with an injury, but played this week against TCU. I think Mariota and Barner are exactly like that. Don’t expect them to miss the Stanford game.
The Autzen Zoo staff includes lead editor Brian Spaen along with staff writers Mike Vamosi, Raymond Mencke, Jr., Ricky Widmer, and contributor Joe Soriano.