With Bo Nix’s availability unclear, Oregon coaches, players express confidence in Ty Thompson

Going into the 2022 season, the question was who would be the starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks: Bo Nix or Ty Thompson.

That question was answered. While there wasn’t never a need to learn definitively who the backup was because of Nix’s proficiency as the starter, we finally received a clear, concise answer from head coach Dan Lanning this week.

“Ty’s consistently been that guy for us,” Lanning said.

We may see Thompson have to be that guy this weekend against the No. 10 Utah Utes in a night game at Autzen Stadium. Nix briefly left the game last week against Washington in the fourth quarter with an apparent injury after taking a helmet to the leg. He spent most of the next offensive series in the medical tent but returned to the game for the final drive.

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Does that mean he’s healthy enough to play against Utah, or simply that his adrenaline allowed him to get back on the field and attempt a comeback against the Huskies?

The answer is unclear, and one that Oregon fans have been trying to get to the bottom of since the start of the week.

Lanning declined to comment on the situation when asked on Monday night but offered that he felt better about the situation than he had the day prior. It’s been made clear that any question from media members about Nix’s availability will be met with a non-answer, so instead, inquiries about the backup position have come to the forefront in attempts to see what those answers reveal.

“How do you go about making sure your backup QBs are ready if a scenario ever comes about where the starter is unavailable to go?”

“I think you always have prep and you have a good feel for what guys are best at. We prep yearround for those situations,” Lanning said. “That’s why you get reps with the twos, reps with the threes, and develop them in groups for throughout the season for situations like that. We’ve had guys step up all year and we always want to be prepared for those moments.”

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While Lanning was an unlikely source for anything revealing on the quarterback front, wide receiver Kris Hutson had an interesting comment when asked about his confidence level in Thompson, should Bo be unavailable.

“Obviously, Bo is down, so it’s the next man up,” Hutson said. “He’s good at decision-making. He has a great arm. He can extend plays. He’s learned a lot from Bo, so he’s kind of taken his game to the next level also. Ty is a good player, a great quarterback; very smart. I can’t wait to see him out there ready to go.”

Come again?

“We all would love to see Ty go out there and sling the rock, but (last weekend) was a situation where we had to go maneuver out of. This game, he’s going to show that to you this weekend.”

Whether you take Hutson’s comments at face value or just a wide receiver expressing the ultimate confidence in his backup quarterback, the quotes are certainly interesting. One could easily read into them as Nix being out for this game, but based on other factors we’ve learned this week, that may not be the case.

Regardless of who you talk to, it seems likely we will not have an answer about the starting QB’s availability until late on Saturday afternoon, at the very earliest.

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Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire