Oregon senior wide receiver Charles Nelson will not play tonight when the Ducks (3-1) host California (3-1) at Autzen Stadium, according to sources.
Nelson, who sprained his right ankle two weeks ago during UO's 49-13 win at Wyoming, missed last Saturday's 37-35 loss at Arizona State (2-3, lost today at Stanford) and was seen this week still wearing a walking boot.
How long Nelson will be sidelined remains unclear, but indications are that his return is not imminent.
Oregon hosts No. 16 Washington State (5-0) next week. The Cougars upset No. 5 USC last night by the score of 30-27.
Nelson ranks second on the team with 15 receptions and first with 243 yards.
Mitchell, Johnson and Schooler are not ideal slot receivers in coach Willie Taggart's offense. But freshman Darrian McNeal has struggled thus far and junior Taj Griffin only recently moved to receiver after coming to Oregon as a running back. Both are listed as Nelson's backups on Oregon's depth chart.
Oregon's young receivers dropped several passes against the Sun Devils and at times ran routes incorrectly or were not aligned properly, all typical mistakes for young receivers.
Nelson was clearly going to be a go-to receiver for sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert and was on pace for to make roughly 60 receptions this season before his injury.