After missing the previous two games, Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux has officially made his return for the Ducks against Arizona in the first quarter.
He came out of the tunnel in pregame dressed in full pads.
Thibodeaux went down in the first half of the Fresno State game with an injury after getting rolled up on. He didn’t return to that game and missed the entirety of both the Ohio State and Stony Brook games with what would later be ruled a sprained ankle.
In the Stony Brook game, Thibodeaux wanted to play on third down situations, but he wasn't cleared by the medical staff.
“He told me on Saturday he wanted to go, but the doctor had not cleared him.” Oregon DC Tim DeRuyter told reporters on Monday.
Earlier in the week, Mario Cristobal hinted at a possible return with his comments on Thibodeaux’s status.
“KT is really improving,” he said. “It's still day-to-day but it’s close. We’re getting real close so we’re very encouraged by what we see there.”
Thibodeaux has been given the green light tonight as he begins his reintroduction into the Oregon defense.
This is a huge addition for Oregon as Thibodeaux’s main backup Bradyn Swinson is not playing against the Wildcats. He had seen the majority of the snaps in place of Thibodeaux, and he's done a great job filling in the spot. He was crucial in the upset against Ohio State and is emerging as a viable pass-rushing option.
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With Thibodeaux finally getting his first action since week 1, the Ducks will hope to make up for the loss of Swinson. Oregon has been lacking a strong pass rush presence ever since Thibodeaux left the game against Fresno State. In just his one half of play this season, Thibodeaux was able to get to the quarterback and force a fumble on a booming strip sack.
With Thibodeaux getting his first snaps back from injury this weekend, the Ducks now have one of their best player back to begin Pac-12 play.
For more updates on Thibodeaux as well as updates for the rest of the game, check out our live updates story.
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