After missing all of his redshirt freshman season due to an undisclosed injury last year, Ducks tight end Patrick Herbert was poised to break out in 2021.
However, that's now in doubt.
Herbert was missing from Monday's practice after sustaining an injury during Saturday's scrimmage in Autzen Stadium. While the event was open to season ticket holders and media, the injury occurred while media members were leaving the field so it's unclear what happened.
After Monday's practice, head coach Mario Cristobal addressed Herbert's absence.
“Patrick Herbert did sustain a knee injury and it’s a good knee injury so he’ll be down for a while,” said Cristobal.
“We feel good about the depth [at tight end] but we’re going to miss Patrick because he was playing good football for us. After coming off of a knee injury he had been playing really well. Just more physical, running routes really well. He’s always had great hands but again after being here a couple years he was getting accustomed to playing at a high level.”
During previous practices, injured players close to returning were off to the side with Aaron Feld doing specialized physical therapeutic exercises. Herbert was not in attendance there, either.
The 6'5", 248-pound tight end was signed out of Sheldon High School as a four-star recruit and the nation's No. 6 tight end in the 2019 recruiting class. He saw limited action against Nevada as a true freshman but did not play in 2020.
If Herbert misses significant time, it opens up more snaps for a talented, but unproven, tight end room with returning starter DJ Johnson, returning contributor Spencer Webb, a nearly-back Cam McCormick, along with two four-star freshmen Moliki Matavao and Terrence Ferguson.