A few speed bumps to Oregon's season

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 08, 2013
Oregon's season has come with a few speed bumps, but the No. 2 Ducks have managed just fine. Star running back De'Anthony Thomas sprained his ankle; tight end Colt Lyerla is gone, although his departure is not expected to have much impact. Next up for Oregon (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) is Saturday's game at Washington (4-1, 1-1). Lyerla left the team Sunday, a day after he missed the No. 2 Ducks' 57-16 victory at Colorado because of a one-game suspension. The junior, who had a rocky history in Eugene, wants to pursue an NFL career. ''If he felt this was best for him. That's OK. We talked about it and we moved on,'' coach Mark Helfrich said. ''We wished him absolutely nothing but the best, and he wished us nothing but the best. There was no `smoking gun' so to speak.'' Besides, the Ducks lost Lyerla to illness this season against Tennessee, and backup Johnny Mundt stepped in with five catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns in a 59-14 Oregon win. Additionally, sophomore tight end Pharaoh Brown appears to have returned to full strength in the last two games after a leg injury slowed him to start the season. Lyerla did not travel to face the Buffaloes on Saturday. Afterward, Helfrich confirmed he had been suspended for the game because of an unspecified violation of team rules. It was latest in a string of issues for the tight end. When he was ill and missed the Tennessee game, Lyerla questioned Helfrich's use of the word ''circumstances'' to characterize his absence, suggesting the description raised questions. As a policy, Oregon does not discuss injuries or illness. Later, Lyerla apologized for airing his frustrations publicly. This summer, Lyerla took to Twitter with his support of conspiracy theories surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. One of his posts concerned the parents of the young victims. The school called the post ''insensitive and offensive.'' Lyerla also missed the first several days of fall camp his sophomore year for personal reasons. On Monday, when the initial surprise had worn off, Lyerla posted to Twitter: ''STILL LOVE ALL MY TEAMMATES (hash)blood.'' Said Helfrich: ''I think we've moved on. We've turned the page. I would love to talk about Washington or our preparations. It's not about any single one of us, myself included.'' As for Thomas, he's missed most of the past two games because of an ankle injury. The dynamic running back sprained his right ankle on the opening kickoff of Oregon's 55-16 victory over California. He returned the kickoff 27 yards but slipped on the wet turf. Thomas, who led the Ducks' ground attack with 338 yards and six touchdowns this season, wore a boot all last week and then on the sidelines against Colorado. But this week the boot was off and Thomas wasn't limping. Oregon would not give his status for the game against the Huskies. Oregon's rush didn't miss a beat without him. Against California, Byron Marshall ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for 122 more yards against the Buffaloes, bringing his total to 448 yards and four touchdowns this season. ''It's scary to think about how good we are when we're all healthy,'' Brown said.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Michael Jordan wants Warriors to break Bulls record

Joe Mauer says concussions have affected his hitting

Kobe once tried to recruit Dirk Nowitzki to Lakers

Report: Broncos waiting on Manning to talk with Osweiler

NBA commish wants to look into hack-a-player issue

Report: Jose Fernandez has 'soured' on Marlins brass


Zach LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Alleged Manning sexual assault cited in Tennessee lawsuit

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Dustin Johnson's son steals Jordan Spieth's club

Fans want Floyd Mayweather to buy their soccer team

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker