Oregon is considered a national title contender this season because it has Marcus Mariota lining up at quarterback and a number of quality starters returning on defense, including cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.
One weakness the team has going into training camp is the wide receiver corps, which lost No. 1 option Bralon Addison to an ACL injury during spring practice. However, judging from a new report, that unit might be in line for a surprising in-season boost.
Sports Illustrated is reporting Mariota said that Addison is ahead of schedule in his left knee rehab and that the team is hopeful he will play this season.
"His goal is Michigan State," Mariota said, per the report.
Addison suffered his injury on April 9. The Ducks host Michigan State on Sept. 6. If such a comeback ends up happening, it might be a record-setter for somebody rehabbing from an ACL tear.
As SI points out, Adrian Peterson's amazing comeback from the same injury took a full nine months before he was good to go. Addison's five-month window would be nothing short of miraculous, especially considering he just started jogging as part of his rehab.
"He looks good," Mariota told SI. "I'm excited. Hopefully he gets ready for that second game."
Addison had 890 yards receiving and seven touchdowns last season and figured to become the No. 1 option for Mariota with the departure of Josh Huff, who was drafted in the third round by the Philadelphia Eagles and old pal Chip Kelly. Count College Football 24/7 as being a bit skeptical about the chances of the injured wide receiver returning early this season, if at all, but it's at least encouraging for the Ducks to hear he's making progress in his rehab.
Oregon's offense is used to operating at a record-setting pace, but Addison returning in time to play Michigan State might just be the fastest it has ever gone.