Northwest

Report: Oregon State will play Utah without star running back Jermar Jefferson

Northwest

When the Oregon State Beavers take the field at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, they could be without their starting quarterback and star running back.

Jonathan Smith had already ruled quarterback Tristan Gebbia out for the week after he sustained a hamstring injury vs. Oregon while attempting a goal-line QB sneak during the closing minutes of Friday’s win.

[RELATED: Chance Nolan: Get to know Oregon State Beavers new starting quarterback]

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Now, another report surfaced Saturday that Jermar Jefferson could be sidelined for Saturday's game. 

Per longtime Portland sportswriter Kerry Eggers who retired in April, the Pac-12 Player of the Week will not suit up for the Beavers vs. the Utes. He did note that the report is "unsubstantiated as of yet."

 

Angie Machado of BeaverBlitz.com added that both Jefferson and linebacker John McCartan did not make the trip to Utah due to COVID-19 protocols. 

This would be a surprising turn of events for the Beavers, not to mention the Utes, who have been game-planning for Jefferson all week long. The junior running back is coming off a stellar performance vs. the Ducks last Friday, rushing for 226 yards and two touchdowns as Oregon State took down rival Oregon 41-37 for the first time since 2016.

His 226 yards on the ground was the most a Beavers running back has ever had against the Ducks, and the most rushing yards any player has ever had, Duck or Beaver, in this history of the rivalry game.

In Saturday's game vs. Utah, Jefferson was aiming to become the first Oregon State running back since Steven Jackson in 2002 to have five-consecutive 100-yard efforts. Now it appears he's unlikely to take the field. 

This is something Beaver fans will want to watch closely as Oregon State (2-2) gets closer to kick off at 7:30 p.m. against the Utes (0-2).

[RELATED: How to watch: Oregon State Beavers at Utah Utes]