Mario Cristobal, Alex Mirabal, and the Oregon staff have prepared for the offensive linemen to be the most versatile athletes on the roster and to prepare them to play any position at any given time. But what they didn't prepare for, and frankly couldn't prepare for, is starting center and anchor of the Oregon offensive line Alex Forsyth missing three games due to back spasms.
After the win over California, Cristobal noted that Forsyth was thought to be good to go but had to be held out at the last moment because he wasn't quite ready even after practicing the week leading up to each game. Forsyth was held out once again prior to the UCLA after going through pregame warmups, according to Cristobal.
"Alex Forsyth is gonna be day-to-day. He was really close to playing," Cristobal said Monday. "I think he may have been able to play, and he looked good yesterday. We felt that way last week and we had a little bit of a setback pregame. We're hopeful; I just wouldn't count on it."
Forsyth had actually been dressed in a helmet and full pads during pregame warmups, but the staff determined he wasn't quite ready to go once again.
ESPN's Holly Rowe reported during the UCLA broadcast that Forsyth wore a back brace that puts electrical stimulation into his lower back where he had been experiencing spasms. Despite the fact that he has practiced during the week and looked good, as Cristobal has said, back spasms can occur without warning, so there really isn't a timetable for his return — hence why Cristobal said that Forsyth would be day-to-day.
Obviously, the Ducks would like to have their starting center on the field, but they've gotten fantastic production from Ryan Walk, who has stepped up in Forsyth's place. The entire offensive line played one of its best games of the season against a tough UCLA defensive front despite missing Forsyth and enduring injuries to Jackson Powers-Johnson and Steven Jones.
Cristobal said that Powers-Johnson sprained his ankle and might miss a few weeks, and he confirmed that Jones will be good to go for Saturday's game against Colorado.
REPORT: Joe Moorhead Emerging as Lead Candidate for Akron Head Coach Job
Could the Ducks see some movement in the coaching carousel?
Lincoln Riley to USC: Close to Worst-Case Scenario for Oregon
What does this new hire mean for the Ducks?
The Oregon offensive line has been one of the strengths of the team all season, even with the fluctuating rotations and injuries. No matter what rotation the Ducks have on the left side and the right side, they are clearly set at center with either a healthy Forsyth or Walk.
More from Ducks Digest
Join the Community
Follow Dylan on Twitter: @drksportsnews