Oregon running back LaMichael James dislocated his elbow in a play in the fourth quarter as Oregon blew past Cal Thursday night, 43-15. James was carted off the field as trainers tended to his right elbow. X-rays were negative and James is optimistic on his return to the team.
"We’re gonna wait and see,” James said. “We have the best trainers in the country and I’m sure they are going to get on it ASAP and I’ll be there four times a day so I can get on that field.”
It is currently unknown whether or not James will be available for Oregon's next game against Arizona State next week, but James said after the game that it was certainly not a season-ending injury, which is a sigh of relief not just for Oregon and their fans, but all of us who enjoy watching talented backs master their craft.
Before James left the game he had become the first Oregon running back to rush for over 200 yards in three consecutive games. James ended his night with 239 yards on 30 carries. His only touchdown of the night came on his first attempt, running to the outside and dashing up the left sideline for 53 yards.
With the injury coming in the early portion of the fourth quarter, and Oregon already well ahead of the visiting Cal Bears, people will criticize Oregon's Chip Kelly for leaving James in the game, and while hindsight is always going to be 20/20, it is worth discussing.
Oregon is clearly trying to make a run back in to the BCS title picture as the best one-loss team out there. They have a running back in James worth Heisman hype and you have to wonder if Kelly was just trying to get James over 250 yards, or perhaps up to 300 if at all possible. Or at least just trying to get him one more touchdown to add to his season total.
We'll have to wait and see what kind of effect this has on the Ducks moving forward.
Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
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