Marcus Mariota may have to play the 2014 season without top returning receiver as the Oregon Ducks lost Bralon Addison to a torn ACL, according to Aaron Fentress, after injuring the knee in a non-contact drill during Saturday’s practice.
Addison, a rising junior, was second on the team last season as a when he had 890 yards and seven touchdowns. With Josh Huff off to the NFL it was expected he would be Mariota’s top target this season in the passing game.
He also was the team’s top punt returner with 281 yards and two touchdowns, so the team is now forced to fill two positions as he is expected to be out at least nine months and could seek a medical redshirt.
With Huff gone and Addison likely to miss the season, 5-9 rising senior Keanon Lowe would be the team’s top returning receiver after he posted 233 receiving yards on 18 receptions and three scores a season ago.
Players who will be in line for increased playing time as a result of Addison’s injury are sophomores Chance Allen and Dwayne Stanford, who are 6-2 and 6-5, respectively and would present a huge target for Heisman-hopeful Mariota.
One other name to keep an eye on is Devon Allen who redshirted his first season after the 6-1 receiver was a four-star receiver out of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix.
Ask any coach and they’ll tell you they just want to get through spring practice as healthy as possible, so this is a tough blow for Mark Helfrich’s team, but if there is a silver lining, they’ll have some time to find a suitable replacement.