Kayvon Thibodeaux, a standout Oregon edge rusher, has had a tough start to his junior season.
Thibodeaux, widely regarded as one of college football’s best prospects, suffered a foot injury in the first quarter of the Ducks’ season-opening 31-24 victory over Fresno State. Later in the half, he returned momentarily before departing again and sitting the rest of the game in a walking boot.
Thibodeaux’s X-rays were negative, according to Oregon coach Mario Cristobal, who spoke to The Oregonian after the game. The squad is “extremely confident,” according to Cristobal, that the injury will not be significant.
Thibodeaux had two tackles before leaving the game, one of which was a thundering strip-sack on Fresno State’s second drive.
Following a Bulldogs run play, the injury happened late in the first quarter. To conclude the sequence, Ducks defensive tackle Kristian Williams and Bulldogs offensive lineman Mose Vavao collided from behind and slid onto Thibodeaux’s foot/ankle.
He’d leave the field on his own, get his foot/ankle wrapped, and then return to the game later. His comeback would be short-lived, as the 20-year-old was forced to leave the game soon before halftime.
Football fans and NFL scouts alike should be encouraged by Cristobal’s statements about Thibodeaux’s health. The next several days will undoubtedly be crucial in determining the next actions.
As the season continues, NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah is among those keeping a careful eye on the 2020 first-team All-Pac 12 pick. Jeremiah praised Thibodeaux in June while assessing him, saying he reminded him of the famous DeMarcus Ware.
“There isn’t an exact match for Thibodeaux,” Jeremiah wrote, “but I see a lot of parallels to Ware when I evaluated him coming out of Troy in 2005.” “They both have the same long, wiry frame and have a powerful first stride. At this point in their growth, I would give Ware the edge as a pure bender at the top of his rush, but Thibodeaux has a bit more power. Thibodeaux has the ability to follow in the footsteps of Ware, who had a Hall of Fame-caliber NFL career.”
Next week, the Ducks will travel to Ohio State for one of the season’s most anticipated matchups