Marcus Mariota ready for Civil War
Oregon's Marcus Mariota, who took a hard hit to the head in this past weekend's 42-16 loss to Arizona, says he has passed all the concussion tests and will play in Friday afternoon's Civil War game against Oregon State.
However, there are still lingering questions about the health of his left knee as the No. 13 Ducks prepare to host the Beavers in the annual rivalry game.
Mariota said he got his "bell rung" while trying to tackle Arizona's Shaquille Richardson on an interception late in the loss to the Wildcats.
He appeared dazed after the hit and was surrounded by trainers on the sidelines after he was helped off the field. It was the second of two interceptions he threw in the game, his first two picks of the season. Later, he said he'd never suffered a worse loss.
Mariota is known for his scrambling ability as much as his arm, but he has been hampered in recent weeks by what appears to be a knee injury he sustained in the first half of Oregon's victory over UCLA on Oct. 28. He had negative yardage on the ground, a result of six sacks, against Stanford and Utah.
He has said he's not taking off as often because of what defenses have been throwing at him, insisting that the knee isn't an issue. There's no way to tell how serious it is, because Oregon doesn't discuss injuries as a policy.
Overall, he is averaging 284.3 yards passing per game with 27 total touchdowns. He also has run for 529 yards and nine scores. The sophomore already was facing questions this week about whether the Civil War will be his last game at Autzen Stadium. There has been speculation that he might declare for the NFL draft.
"I'm being truthfully honest, I'm not sure," he told reporters after practice Monday. "After the bowl season, I'll go home and just kind of talk through this with my family and see where is the best fit for my family."
For now, he's just looking at the Civil War.
"This game does mean a lot. It means a lot to the state," Mariota said. "It's an honor to play in it."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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