Stanford will be without wide receiver Devon Cajuste for its crucial game at Oregon State on Saturday, Cardinal head coach David Shaw said Thursday.
Cajuste suffered a right knee injury in the 24-10 win over UCLA last week, but avoided significant damage. Shaw said Cajuste "probably could really push it" and try to play against the Beavers, but it was not worth the risk, even in a must-win game to remain in the Pac-12 North race.
Cajuste has 21 receptions for 377 yards and four touchdowns this season, second only to Ty Montgomery in all three categories. At 6-foot-4 and 228 pounds, Cajuste has emerged as a fine red-zone weapon to offset losses at tight end, but has enough speed to surprisingly stretch the field.
Kodi Whitfield, who made an unreal touchdown catch against the Bruins, and emerging big-play threat Michael Rector, who is averaging 39.5 yards per catch, will see more snaps in Cajuste's absence.
Still, it should allow OSU to focus its coverage on containing Montgomery and force someone else in the Stanford passing attack to win the game.
Stanford will also be without placekicker Jordan Williamson (leg). Backup Conrad Ukropina hit 1-of-2 field goals against UCLA, converting from 31 yards but missing a 46-yard try.