What do coaches always tell guys on the sideline and guys buried on the depth chart? “You are only an ankle sprain away from seeing time on the field.” Injuries are going to happen in a violent game that sees brutal collisions every down. At the quarterback position for example, no team suffered a cruel rash of injuries like the Oregon Football program did a few years ago. Kellen Clemens 2005 season ending ankle injury suffered at a game in the desert in Arizona, Dennis Dixon injuring his knee on the same turf in Tucson in 2007 which halted Oregon’s national title hopes and No. 2 ranking as well as Dennis Dixon’s Heisman campaign, Nate Costa’s woeful knee injuries, and even Justin Roper’s torn knee ligaments in 2008.
These are just a few examples, but every program has to have guys on the No. 2 and No. 3 depth chart ready to go. They have to prepare during the week like they’ll be starting on Saturday.This slideshow will identify the seven most important backups for the Oregon Ducks, guys who won’t start September 3rd vs. LSU but need to be ready to go and step in immediately in case the guy in front of him goes down. A few guys that I considered but did not include on this list were offensive lineman Hamani Stevens; defensive backs Terrance Mitchell and Dior Mathis; receivers Justin Hoffman, Rahsaan Vaughn(incoming JC transfer) and Devon Blackmon (incoming true freshman).