By Rob Moseley
Venue: Moshofsky Center
Format: Full pads
On Oregon’s final heavy work day in preparation for Saturday night’s visit by Washington State, running back De’Anthony Thomas said he “practiced a little bit” in his continuing recovery from an ankle injury.
Thomas said he was “out there doing little drills and having fun,” and had “come a long way” in his recovery. But he declined to project his status for the game against the Cougars.
“I just want to let it heal well, and not rush to get back out there,” he said.
Thomas hasn’t played since injuring his ankle on the opening kickoff against California on Sept. 28. His last offensive play was against Tennessee all the way back on Sept. 14.
That said, Thomas is unconcerned about a possible loss of conditioning.
“I feel like my body will never be out of shape, for some reason,” Thomas said. “I feel like I get better when I get rest. This is a good rest, and I feel like I’ll come back stronger.”
Based on how Thomas looked in warmups at Washington last week, it’s clear he's close to returning. How close remains to be seen this week, but he definitely seems encouraged.
“It’s a great feeling right now, and how I’m just going to remain focused, trying to get back out on the field,” Thomas said.
Highlights: The morning began with one play in the red zone, with a mock game on the line. Marcus Mariota found an open Josh Huff with the ones, but Terrance Mitchell snuck in for the pass breakup. The No. 2 offense evened the score, with Thomas Tyner finding the end zone. …
A period of pass play reps ended the day. Daryle Hawkins reached up and hauled in a pass from Mariota at the goal line for a touchdown, and on the final play for the offense against scouts, Tyner burst upfield and was one-on-one against a safety. Does the scout make the play? Would the freshman have bowled him over, or juked him out of his cleats? Over on the defensive end, Troy Hill and Issac Dixon came up with interceptions, and Rodney Hardrick broke up a pass over the middle.
Other observations: Darren Carrington kept catching my eye today. He was tabbed to field footballs for the scout team while the punt team got some work in; given how elusive he is in the open field on offense, no doubt he could be an asset as a punt returner someday. … Carrington also had a touchdown grab during a red zone drill, leaping high to catch a Damion Hobbs pass for the scout team. … During field-goal drills, the unit kept moving progressively deeper during the period. The last attempt was a 43-yard for Alejandro Maldonado, with the clock winding down in the period, and he nailed it just as the drilled ended.