By Rob Moseley
At the midpoint of Oregon’s week of practices for the Washington game, DAT watch is in full effect.
The big question looming over Saturday’s showdown in Seattle is the status of Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas and his ankle injury. The Ducks’ starting running back hasn’t taken an offensive snap since the third quarter of the Tennessee game, on Sept. 14.
A bye followed that game on the schedule, and then Thomas was injured on the opening kickoff against Cal on Sept. 28. He sat out the rest of that game, and didn’t play last week at Colorado.
Thomas watched that one from the sideline, in pads but also sporting a protective boot. As of this week, Thomas hasn’t been wearing the boot.
“It’s nice to walk around with two shoes on,” Thomas said today. “That’s a great feeling. Trying to get better from there.”
Thomas said today he wasn’t sure whether he’ll play against the Huskies. He’s trying to “work hard and get back to normal,” he said.
“I haven’t practiced this week, but I’ve been in drills and stuff like that,” he said. “Just getting better, trying to jog a little bit and stuff like that.”
In order to play Saturday, Thomas said he wants to be 100 percent – “not 80 percent, or 90 percent,” he said.
If Thomas is again unable to play, sophomore Byron Marshall and freshman Thomas Tyner would again move up a rung on the depth chart. Last week against the Buffaloes, they combined for 33 carries, 152 yards and a touchdown. The Ducks also got 10 carries and 88 yards out of Ayele Forde.
Highlights: Both the No. 1 and No. 2 defense kept the offense out of the end zone in the clutch scenario to end the day. Marcus Mariota moved the ones downfield quickly with a completion to Bralon Addison and a run by Marshall. But the No. 1 offense stalled from there, and the No. 2 defense dominated its reps.
The final team period prior to that also featured some entertaining stuff. Brian Jackson had interceptions on back-to-back plays, leaping for a ball over his head and then diving for one that was underthrown. Joe Walker and Ben Butterfield also had interceptions. Over on the offensive half of the field, Marshall showed off his agility by hopping over some traffic at the line on a long gain, and Jeff Lockie had a couple nice completions to Pharaoh Brown and Chance Allen.
Other observations: In terms of individual skill development, Torrodney Prevot broke up two passes during a one-on-one drill in the red zone. Recall that he had never been used in pass coverage prior to arriving at Oregon. Also, T.J. Daniel impressed me in pass-rush drills for the second time this week. … Evan Baylis is starting to stand out a little bit more. Perhaps that’s just a function of getting more reps in Colt Lyerla’s absence, but he had a nice reception from Lockie in 11-on-11 and another from Jake Rodrigues in seven-on-seven. … Offensive lineman Brian Teague had a touchdown as a scout-team tight end for the second day in a row. Never gets old seeing him celebrate one of those.