Oregon’s injury situations may force Ducks to turn to De’Anthony Thomas on defense

Oregon should be happy with its new No. 1 ranking in both major polls, but its injury situation is becoming very troublesome.

So troublesome that running back De'Anthony Thomas may have to play some defense this week against Stanford.

The Oregonian, citing an unnamed source, said Thomas could play some defensive back this week. Thomas is a great athlete, and The Oregonian story recalled Thomas making a one-handed interception playing defensive back during informal warmups before last year's Rose Bowl. Still, this is far from an ideal situation for a team that's trying to win out and play for a national title.

Safety Avery Patterson, who was replacing All-American candidate John Boyett at free safety after Boyett had surgery on both knees before the season, is also out for the season. He suffered a knee injury last Saturday. Oregon was without two injured backup cornerbacks as well last week, and at one point was without its top five defensive linemen.

"That's hard back there, but obviously we're going to try to get somebody ready," UO defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said, according to The Oregonian.

"We're getting thinner," he added, "but we'll find a way to make this work."

Thomas may help the defense in a pinch, if called upon, but that he's being considered is a pretty strong indication of how bad Oregon's injury situation is getting.

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