Oregon Ducks’ star running back Royce Freeman hobbled off the field Saturday afternoon in Lincoln, Nebraska against the Huskers. On the Ducks’ second drive of the game, their Heisman hopeful had to take himself off the field after rushing five times for 31 yards.
Moments later, Freeman was seen on the sideline icing his right shin. It is never a good sign when you see a player icing during a game, that is usually saved for post-game. Freeman could be done for the day, with only the Oregon staff knowing the severity currently. However, shin injuries or bone bruises can be tricky. Every athlete reacts differently to them.
Immediately after Freeman exited the game, his primary back-up Tony Brooks-James took over with a dashing run to the end zone on his first carry of the afternoon. The 20-yard score placed Oregon ahead, 8-0, early. Charles Nelson added the two-point conversion score on the very next play.
The wealth of depth at the running back position is a major advantage for Oregon entering the young season. Head coach Mark Helfrich would have loved to use his premium back-ups in a different light, but adding experience at this stage of the year is vital to their growth and development. Taj Griffin and Kani Benoit will back-up Brooks-James the rest of Saturday’s game.
Take a deep breath Oregon nation, we are not going to learn much on this situation today. Unfortunately, dealing with Nebraska at Memorial Stadium without your workhorse will be a completely new test in it of itself. The Ducks certainly have their work cut out for them, regardless of the offensive depth.
Stay tuned to ATQ for any and all updates regarding Royce Freeman.