As was first reported yesterday, Oregon head coach Willie Taggart confirmed on Monday that Ducks starting quarterback Justin Herbert suffered a broken collarbone in the win over California on Saturday night.
Taggart said Herbert will be “out for a while” but added that he “absolutely” expects him to return later this season.
Our own Aaron Fentress wrote Sunday that a hairline break would put him out for “a few weeks,” as opposed to a fracture, which would have ended his season.
Oregon (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) gets No. 11 Washington State on Saturday and plays host to No. 20 Utah later this month, with a trip to rival Stanford waiting on Oct. 14. The Ducks visit No. 6 Washington on Nov. 4, so that would presumably represent the target date to get Herbert back in action. The Pac-12 schedule-makers did Oregon no favors this season, as the Ducks are not off until the week of Nov. 11, with arguably the two worst teams in the conference waiting after that in Arizona and Oregon State.
With Herbert out, Oregon will likely turn to senior Taylor Alie, who himself had to leave last week’s game, but that injury isn’t believed to be serious, according to Fentress. Alie has completed 15-of-20 passes for 115 yards with an interception while rushing seven times for 45 yards and a touchdown thus far. Freshman Braxton Burmeister has thrown one pass this season, a 4-yard completion.
Herbert, a sophomore, ranks eighth nationally in passing efficiency this season, hitting 86-of-126 passes (68.3 percent) for 1,264 yards (10.0 yards per attempt) with nine touchdowns against two interceptions while carrying 29 times for 116 yards and three touchdowns.