True freshman receiver Mycah Pittman, who was expected to contribute or possibly start this season, will be sidelined for at least the first part of the Oregon Ducks football season.
Oregon coach Mario Cristobal issued a statement saying a shoulder injury will cause Pittman to miss six to eight weeks.
“Mycah suffered a shoulder injury while making a diving catch during Saturday’s scrimmage that will result in him missing the start of the 2019 season," Cristobal said in a statement. "He is a relentless competitor who will come back stronger and ready to compete this season.”In six weeks, the Ducks will be preparing for to host Cal. In eight weeks the Ducks play at rival Washington in Seattle.
Pittman sufffered an injury during Oregon’s most recent scrimmage this past Saturday when he landed on his shoulder while making a catch. He was possibly the most praised incoming freshman from teammates and coaches during spring practice and Oregon's fall camp.
Pittman took to Twitter to weigh in:
The devil done pissed me off I’m coming back stronger with my faith, and physically I promise duck fans imma give y’all all I got.— MJP (@MycahPittman) August 20, 2019
What this means
The Ducks receiving corps is already coping with the loss of senior receiver Brenden Schooler, who will be out another five to seven weeks after suffering a right foot injury that required surgery. The depth took another hit when freshman wide receiver JR Waters had a lower leg procedure and won’t return for four to six weeks. Freshmen Lance Wilhoit and Josh Delgado have also been limited with lingering injures.
With Schooler (the Duck returner with the most experience) out, Oregon needs unproven, inexperienced receivers to step into a contributing, if not starting, role right away.
The series of unfortunate events has lessened the pool of possible contributers.
Pittman was turning heads and splitting first team reps at slot receiver. Pittman has strong hands, a running back body and excels at getting separation. The impact of a speedy return cannot be understated, as Oregon currently has five healthy scholarship receivers.
Without Pittman or Schooler, expected starters Jaylon Redd, Juwan Johnson, and Johnny Johnson III, will be backed up by Delgado and redshirt freshman Bryan Addison.
Four-star Delgado has a good grasp on the playbook and gained 15 pounds in offseason workouts while Oregon can also utilize large-bodied, 6-foot-5 Addison.
However, Pittman’s impact on the Duck offense was already visible, connecting with quarterback Justin Herbert during spring and fall practice, moving up the depth chart and pushing veterans.
“Pittman has been surprising me,” tight end Cam McCormick said. “Always goes beyond, he always does extra.”
Oregon is trying to best take advantage of Herbert’s final season. The sooner reliable Pittman is back on the field, the better for Oregon.