Oregon will play its biggest game of the season without two of its stars. Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and linebacker Justin Flowe will not play vs. Ohio State, according to a report from Sports Illustrated Buckeyes Now reporter Andrew Lind.
Thibodeaux suffered an ankle sprain against Fresno State and Flowe will miss due to a broken foot. Thibodeaux was seen on the field pregame, but was not dressed out for the game as the team went through warmups. Flowe was not seen on the field during pregame warmups.
Thibodeaux exited last week's game against Fresno State after suffering a sprained ankle. He was rolled up on in the first half by a teammate and spent time with Oregon medical staff on the sideline before returning to the game.
Thibodeaux then exited the locker room wearing street clothes and a heavy walking boot on his left foot. Head Coach Mario Cristobal told reporters Thibodeaux was "day-by-day" on Wednesday but didn't go in detail on the extent the team's star was able to practice during the week. Flowe's injury was not discussed during media availability during the week heading up to the game.
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Cristobal did say that it wasn't in the team or player's best interest for a player to play without practicing during the week leading up to a game. With the news of these injuries, the Ducks will turn to players like Bradyn Swinson, Adrian Jackson, Jake Shipley, Mase Funa and Treven Ma'ae to fill the void left by Thibodeaux and Nate Heaukulani, Keith Brown and Jabril McNeil in place of Flowe.
The Ducks were already without starting will linebacker Dru Mathis before today's game, and Flowe was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after racking 14 tackles and forcing a fumble last week.
It goes without saying that Thibodeaux is a game-changing talent and gives the team a massive boost when on the field. In the Ducks' opener against Fresno State, Thibodeaux made an early impact with a strip sack on quarterback Jake Haener which set up the offense in prime field position before CJ Verdell punched it in.
This story will be updated as new information becomes available.