Oregon QB Justin Herbert will/won’t duck the Washington Football game

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 09: Tight end Drew Sample (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 09: Tight end Drew Sample (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Oregon starting quarterback is returning from a broken collar bone to start against the Washington Football team this week. Or is he?

Oregon quarterback broke his collarbone early in the season, and was expected to miss four to six weeks. But he won’t miss this week’s contest to face the Washington Football team.   At least those are the signs so far.  And of course, this little indication.  Keep in mind the status is Herbert OR Burmeister.

The Oregon Ducks were well on their way to significance this season. Quarterback Justin Herbert is one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the Pac-12, and for that matter, in the nation.  He had amassed 1,264 passing yards on his way to leading Oregon to an early 4-1 record.  Oh, but that fourth win came at a huge price. The 45-24 victory over California cost the Ducks their starting quarterback.  Since that game, the team has struggled at a 1-3 clip.

Oregon going “All Hands On Deck” for this contest

They enter the game tomorrow against the Washington Huskies at 5-4 and at 2-4 in the Pac-12 conference.  They also bring the memory of the 70-21 defeat from a year ago. And so, the Oregon Ducks are not about to show their hand to the world just yet.

The logic is simple. Without Herbert, the Oregon Duck offense is one dimensional – a running attack. And the Washington Huskies are stout run stoppers.  So the hope at this point is to confuse the Washington Football defense to anticipate Herbert as the starter.  That could be just enough edge to help the very motivated Ducks to sneak away with a win.  Can Herbert play a game of this magnitude just four weeks after snapping his collarbone?

Or are they?

Listen, I understand that Justin Herbert is an incredible talent. But even if his collarbone is 100% healed, his throwing arm is still not game ready.  And the risk to reinjury against this formidable Washington Huskies front seven makes this highly unlikely.

There is no reason to play Herbert in this one. Defensive tackles Vita Vea and Greg Gaines are dangerous enough. But risking the health of a star quarterback with a team already low in the conference standings is more foolish than sense.

Nice try Ducks

I think it’s a fun slant to the game which by all intents and purposes should shape up to be rather vanilla. Oregon simply does not have the defense to keep this one close enough to warrant Herbert’s appearance.

Next: 7-1 Washington Football team ranked 12th in CFB Playoff ranking

Like it or not, if the Oregon offense winds up, this game will quickly resemble a shootout. Try with all my might, I cannot avert my eyes from the beating any Oregon quarterback will get trying to stand in the pocket and deliver strikes to receivers.

The Oregon Ducks are talented yes. But through the misfortunes of injury to a key player, they have struggled this season. I cannot see the team compounding the injury with a risky roll of the dice to suit him up for this one.