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No. 12 Oregon will be without its leading receiver for the rest of the season.
Ducks coach Mario Cristobal told reporters Monday that tight end Jacob Breeland suffered a season-ending injury in Friday night’s 45-3 win over Colorado. Breeland, a senior, was injured after a 22-yard catch during the first quarter and did not return to action. He later returned to the sideline wearing a brace on his left knee and was using crutches. Cristobal did not give specifics about Breeland’s injury, other than saying he will “not be able to play the rest of the season.”
It’s a big blow for the Ducks, a team that has been riddled with injuries at receiver through the first half of the season. Breeland emerged as Justin Herbert’s most reliable target, catching 26 passes for 405 yards and six touchdowns. All three categories lead the team through six games.
"You never want to see any player get injured. It hurts you personally. It hurts everyone when a guy that’s worked so hard, that’s overcome as much as he has and the type of season he was having, to have to endure something like this,” Cristobal said. “He will come out well on the other side. Jake is not a pity-party guy. He’s ready to attack the whole process of getting healthy again so he can play again."
Breeland is an NFL draft prospect
The injury could also impact Breeland’s draft stock. Breeland is considered one of the better tight ends available in the 2020 NFL draft, but Cristobal expressed confidence that Breeland will be able to return to the field and play at a high level.
“He’s a really good player and I think nowadays these injuries are very fixable,” Cristobal said. “He’ll come back and he’ll train and he’ll be ready to play and we think he’s going to play for a long time.”
Breeland is the second Oregon tight end to go down for the season, joining Cam McCormick. In their absence, Oregon will turn to Hunter Kampmoyer and Ryan Bay with freshmen Spencer Webb and Patrick Herbert, Justin’s brother, seeing additional time. Webb has been playing mostly slot receiver throughout the year, but Cristobal said he will slide back to tight end.
After opening its season with a loss to Auburn, Oregon has won five straight games heading into Saturday’s game at No. 25 Washington.
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