Oregon St. Injury Report: Mannion's Options May Be More Limited

Sean Mannion may be missing a couple of his better targets (behind Brandin Cooks) Saturday when Oregon St. takes on California. - Photo by Andy Wooldridge

Oregon St. quarterback may be without a couple of his favorite targets this week in Berkeley, when the Beavers take on the Bears.

NO, Brandin Cooks isn't one of them, but both Connor Hamlett and Richard Mullaney may be spectators for the California contest.

Mannion actually did his best work after both were injured Saturday night in Oregon St.'s 52-24 win over Washington St., but both were instrumental early on, as Hamlett had Oregon St.'s first touchdown, a 7 yard completion from Mannion, and Mullaney had all 5 of his catches, for 122 yards, before the break.

Hamlett left the game before halftime, and watched the second half in street clothes, after his knee, the same one aggravated before the bye week, began to bother him again. Mullaney suffered a turf toe, which is a bigger deal for a receiver than at possibly some other positions.

Hamlett is doubtful for Saturday, and Mullaney, though considered "day to day", is at least questionable, enough so that wide receiver coach Brent Brennan said "It would be a big loss if he's out, but I think it's just a question of who's next? Someone else needs to step in there and play well."

Brennan said he expects Mullaney to play, but playing and playing effectively for 4 quarters could be different things.

One thing it could be is an opportunity for Victor Bolden.

Hamlett's absence was an opportunity for sophomore Caleb Smith, who had 3 catches for 60 yards, his best game to date for the Beavers, including back to back catches on Oregon St.'s late 3rd quarter drive that tied the game at 24 all. Smith will probably get the start this week.

Tight end is a position of strength for the Beavers, who also have Kellen Clute and Tyler Perry, though Perry also watched practice Monday, nursing a sore shoulder. Perry's injury isn't considered serious, and he's expected to be good to go against the Bears.

Left guard Josh Andrews, who left the Washington St. game in the 4th quarter with a bruised thigh, was back practicing today, and is also expected to be 100% for California.

Linebacker Michael Doctor was at practice today, wearing a soft brace on his left ankle and foot, as he continues to recover from surgery. If he is able to return, the Arizona St. game, after Oregon St.'s second bye, still seems the most likely time.

UPDATE

Hamlett is having his knee scoped to clean it up. He hopes to be back for Stanford, but the USC game may be a more realistic target. We'll see how things look next week.

That threw a scare into Oregon St. coach Mike Riley when combined with Smith twisting an ankle in practice Tuesday, which had the potential of turning one of Oregon St.'s deepest positions into a problem, though both Kellen Clute and Tyler Perry have scoring catches already this year from the spot as well.

The level of concern subsided some today, when Smith was back at practice. With 3 days still until game time, Smith should be good to go.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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