The hits just keep coming for Mario Cristobal and the eight-ranked Oregon Ducks.
Cristobal announced on Thursday afternoon that star running back CJ Verdell is out for the year because of an injury. Verdell, the senior back, went down with an injury during Oregon’s stunning loss to unraked Stanford last Saturday.
To make matters worse, Cristobal also announced star safety Bennett Williams is out for the year. He had four interceptions, one of which went for a pick-six, in four games this season.
Oregon found itself squarely in the College Football Playoff mix just over a week ago. Now, the Ducks will have to win out and survive a brutally long list of injuries in the process.
CJ Verdell’s injury at Stanford was a season-ending injury, Mario Cristobal said after practice today. #GoDucks
— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) October 7, 2021
Bennett Williams is also out for the year with an injury.
— Matt Prehm (@MattPrehm) October 7, 2021
Oregon’s been hit hard with the injury bug so far this season. Somehow, Mario Cristobal the Ducks are still 4-1 with a win over Ohio State. In other words, not all is lost.
The bad news is that CJ Verdell was far and away Oregon’s best player on offense. When the going got rough, the Ducks turned to Verdell to carry the workload, which he did. The star back had 397 yards on 77 carries and seven total touchdowns prior to his injury last Saturday.
Oregon will now turn to Travis Dye to carry the workload in Verdell’s absence. The Ducks will need one of their talented, younger backs – Trey Benson, Byron Cardwell or Seven McGee – to step up in the process.
Oregon gets a much-needed bye this Saturday before the Ducks host Cal next Friday night at Autzen Stadium.