Starting right tackle Malaesala Aumave-Laulu has been noticeably absent from practice through five days of Oregon football fall camp. But a return is expected in the near future.
“Minor ding, I think we will get him back here shortly,” head coach Dan Lanning told reporters following Tuesday's practice.
Lanning expressed his happiness with his team's offensive line, especially the young players, for working hard in the absence of “Sala” and making the most of the opportunities to improve during live drills in practice.
“I think that's really what this has created for us is an urgency as coaches to try some guys in different locations to improve our ability to be adaptable,” Lanning said.
Among the young players optimizing their reps are a trio of freshman that just arrived in Eugene. Lanning took time to acknowledge Josh Conerly Jr., one of the first major commitments to Oregon under the new head coach.
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The sophomore wideout continues to put on a show for the Ducks.
“Josh Conerly had a good day,” Lanning said. “ He had a really good rep in a competition drill where we do kind of a one-on-one drill. He did a really good job. Seeing some good things from Dave [Iuli], seeing some good things from Kawika [Rogers], a lot of those young guys have done well up front.”
With just over three weeks until the Ducks kick off their season, they hope to get Aumave-Laulu healthy soon ahead of what's expected to be the team's first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday. He, Steven Jones, Alex Forsyth, TJ Bass, and Ryan Walk make up the group of returning offensive linemen who have a combined 80 starts for the Ducks in their careers.
Oregon football will need a cohesive line on September 3 when they face defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs in Atlanta.
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