Monday, September 7, 2009
Safety and running back at issue for Oregon
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Running back LeGarrette Blount might not be the only starter Oregon must replace for Saturday's tilt with Purdue.
Hard-hitting safety T.J. Ward suffered an ankle injury at Boise State and is questionable -- at best. Ward couldn't put any weight on his ankle when he was helped off the field.
Nonetheless, Ducks coach Chip Kelly, who has a policy of calling all injured players "day to day," said he was optimistic Ward might be available.
"I think [Ward] is confident he will play," Kelly said.
Redshirt freshman John Boyett stepped in for Ward against the Broncos, but it's possible the Ducks will shuffle their secondary if Ward can't go. One of the rovers -- Javes Lewis or Marvin Johnson -- could shift over.
As for running back, Kelly said LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and Andre Crenshaw will be "1A, 1B and 1C."
"We'll see all three on Saturday," Kelly said. "They complement each other really well."
All three weigh less than 200 pounds, so they will be much different in running style compared to the 240-pound Blount, who has been suspended for the season but has the option of continuing to practice with the team.
Blount didn't practice Monday. Kelly said he was still considering his options.
Only James, a redshirt freshman, had a carry in the opener. He rushed twice for 22 yards and caught a pass for 3 yards.
Barner is a redshirt freshman who converted from cornerback during the preseason. Crenshaw, a senior, has rushed for 551 yards and scored five touchdowns over the previous three seasons.
"Andre is a proven player for us," Kelly said.
Junior Remene Alston is not an option because of academic issues.