The talk leading into USC’s game Saturday was that Marqise Lee could see action on the defensive side of the ball, and the star wide receiver did just that, albeit for just a single play at safety.
A couple of days later, another electrifying Pac-12 offensive player could be forced into a similar situation.
Citing a football program source, the Oregonian is reporting that it’s possible running back De’Anthony Thomas will see playing time at cornerback for No. 1 Oregon in this weekend’s game against Stanford. The reason behind the move would come down to one issue: injury attrition.
As Ben noted earlier, starting safety Avery Patterson suffered a season-ending knee injury in the win over Cal Saturday. The Oregonian points out that the Ducks have just two healthy cornerbacks with any type of experience as a pair of backups are dealing with injury issues as well.
Enter Thomas, who was the top-rated cornerback in the class of 2011 along with being the nation’s No. 1 “athlete” in that class. Prior to the bowl game, Thomas practiced with the defense although he has yet to appear in a game on that side of the ball. That could change this weekend, although UO remained tight-lipped on the situation in the secondary.
“That’s hard back there, but obviously we’re going to try to get somebody ready,” defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said following Monday’s practice.
“We’re getting thinner, but we’ll find a way to make this work.”