The last few weeks have been broken into baby steps for Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas. Following a knee injury sustained during a game against Arizona State last month, Thomas saw very limited time and did not start against Colorado the following game.
The junior then made his first official start since the injury one game later — last week’s 43-28 win over Washington State — but only played the first half in which he threw for a pair of interceptions. Whether it was because of lingering effects of the injury, or just straight ineffectiveness, coach Chip Kelly opted to put in backup Bryan Bennett for the second half of that game against Wazzou.
The move prompted some to wonder if there was a quarterback controversy a-brewin’ in Eugene, a notion to which Kelly scoffed, and if I understood it correctly, asked a reporter if they wanted to dance.
Kelly literally means it when he says “next guy in.” His players know it too.
“We just felt Bryan gave us a better chance in the second half,” Kelly said after the WSU game.
“[I] just have to continue to get better,” Thomas said of his performance last week in a video interview courtesy of the Eugene Register Guard. “It wasn’t anything different from any other game.”
When asked if he would play against Washington on Saturday from start to finish, Thomas said “My injury is getting better as the week goes. I feel like I”m going to be ready to go 100 percent.”
Kelly usually doesn’t tip who’s going to start each week, but if Thomas is healthy, it’s likely he’ll get the nod.