Thomas' status still unclear for game Saturday

Junior running back out of boot for first time since ankle injury

EUGENE — De'Anthony Thomas is walking the walk.

And even jogging.

Oregon's star running back, who hasn't played since spraining an ankle Sept. 28 against California, still can't say he'll be able to play against No. 16 Washington.

"Not really sure," Thomas said when asked if he will be playing Saturday at Husky Stadium. "It's still early in the week, and I'm just trying to work hard and get back to normal."

Thomas is out of the walking boot he wore last week. The junior said he has not practiced this week, but has been able to participate in some drills.

"I'm walking around pretty good, just staying focused on getting better and just recovering," Thomas said. "It's nice to walk around with two shoes on. That's a great feeling. I'm just trying to get better from there."

Washington senior cornerback Greg Ducre, one of Thomas' teammates at Crenshaw High in Los Angeles, didn't sound optimistic about getting one more chance to tackle his friend.

"He said he's trying to (play), but probably not," Ducre told the Seattle Times. "He said he's trying to, though, so we'll see."

In Thomas' absence, Byron Marshall rushed for 122 yards, and Thomas Tyner scored his fifth touchdown in four games during the victory in Boulder. Oregon running backs coach Gary Campbell said his starter, who hasn't been on the field for an offensive snap since the third quarter Sept. 14 against Tennessee, has encouraged the young backups.

"Kids can always relate to each other differently than coaches do," Campbell said. "He's been helpful."

Thomas is now tied for second on the team in rushing yards (338) with quarterback Marcus Mariota. Marshall leads the way with 448 yards, and Tyner is fourth with 204 yards.

"We can play better up front, we can block better on perimeter and we can finish runs better," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said of the state of the nation's No. 3 rushing offense.


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