EUGENE — Oregon free safety John Boyett, who led the Ducks in tackles two of the last three years, will have surgery Wednesday on both knees, ending his season and more than likely his UO career.
Boyett returned to his hometown of Napa, Calif., on Sunday, and told the Napa Valley Register newspaper he will undergo the procedure on both knees Wednesday.
"I've had a lingering injury that I played through all last year," Boyett said in a statement to the newspaper. "The hope was, through different treatments and certain types of rehab during this past offseason, they would heal up and I'd be ready to go for my senior year. But unfortunately, it didn't work out as planned."
Boyett finished his career with 278 tackles in 37 appearances. He became the first freshman in the modern era to lead the Ducks in tackles, with 90 in 2009, and led the team again with 108 in 2011, including a career-high 17 in the Rose Bowl.
After starting Oregon's season opener this fall, Boyett did not play in Saturday's win over Fresno State. Avery Patterson started in Boyett's place and finished with five tackles.
"Avery's played nine million snaps since he's been here," UO coach Chip Kelly said Sunday, before the publication of the Napa report. "Avery's played a ton of football for us and has been an integral player through last season and the other game we played this year."
Boyett's surgeries reportedly involve a six-month rehab process. That would sideline him through the end of the season, and because this is his fifth year of eligibility but the first he'll miss because of an injury, the likelihood of the NCAA granting another season for Boyett to play seems remote.
Boyett told the newspaper pain in his knees was affecting his play, and that five specialists who reviewed his medical files recommended surgery.
"It's a very difficult decision," Boyett said in his statement. "I have tremendous teammates and made many friends at the university. I've grown tremendously as a player and as a person, working under my great defensive back coach, Coach John Neal and the defensive coordinator, Nick Aliotti, who recruited me to the University of Oregon."