Shoulder surgery preemptively ends Thomas Tyner's season – ESPN
Kyle Bonagura, ESPN Staff Writer
Asked to confirm the report, an Oregon spokesman said “anything of that nature” wouldn’t be addressed until the team opens training camp Monday.
Tyner, who has rushed for 1,284 yards and 14 touchdowns over the past two seasons, was in line for a significant role in the Ducks offense as the No. 2 running back behind sophomore Royce Freeman. Tyner led the Ducks in rushing in both their College Football Playoff semifinal win against Florida State (13 carries, 124 yards, two touchdowns) and loss to Ohio State in the championship (12 carries, 62 yards).
He first injured his shoulder on a kickoff return against Washington in October, and the injury remained a recurring issue for the rest of the season. “Lingering pain” from that injury led to the decision to undergo surgery, according to CSNNW.com.
Tyner’s loss is a blow to Oregon’s Pac-12 title defense, but the Ducks are well-equipped to replace his production. The most obvious solution would be more carries for receiver Byron Marshall, who led the Ducks in rushing in 2013 (1,038 yards, 14 touchdowns) before switching positions last year. Even after becoming a receiver, Marshall received 52 carries last year and averaged 7.5 yards per rush.
Other options include redshirt sophomore Kani Benoit (23 carries, 98 yards in 2014), redshirt freshman Tony Brooks-James, the No. 14 running back in the Class of 2014, and true freshman Taj Griffin, a four-star recruit and the No. 4-ranked running back in the Class of 2015.
Freeman rushed for 1,365 yards and 18 touchdowns last year.