Oregon RB CJ Verdell, DB Bennett Williams out for the year

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Injuries are really piling up for Oregon.

Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal announced Thursday that both running back CJ Verdell and defensive back Bennett Williams are out for the year. While Williams was injured last week during practice, Verdell went down with a leg injury during last Saturday’s loss to Stanford.

The loss of Verdell is a big one for the Oregon offense. He has scored a touchdown in all five of Oregon’s games this season and notably rushed for 161 yards and scored three total TDs in the upset victory over Ohio State in Week 2.

Verdell has been a mainstay for the Ducks for the last four years. He surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in 2018 and 2019 and has 2,919 rushing yards and 27 TDs on 542 attempts in his college career. He has also totaled 58 catches for 610 yards and three scores.

Oregon running back CJ Verdell (7) runs through hole in during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)
Oregon running back CJ Verdell (7) runs through hole in during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

With Verdell out, the Ducks will turn to Travis Dye as the lead back. Verdell and Dye have split carries for the past four seasons. Dye has 2,222 yards and eight touchdowns on 370 career carries.

Williams, meanwhile, amassed 20 tackles and three interceptions during the first four games of the season. With Williams out vs. Stanford, Jamal Hill started in his place. Hill was a regular starter during the 2020 season.

Oregon, which has a bye this week, previously lost linebacker Justin Flowe and tight end Cam McCormick to serious injuries.

The Ducks were ranked No. 3 in the country prior to Saturday's loss. After the loss, they dropped to No. 8. After the bye, Oregon returns to action at home against Cal next Friday night. 

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