By James Crepea

The Oregonian

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EUGENE — Oregon Ducks tight end Cam McCormick, a redshirt junior from Bend, will miss his second straight football season due to injury.

McCormick, who broke his left leg in the 2018 season opener against Bowling Green, will miss all of this season due to an ankle injury he suffered during the offseason.

“After assessing him and after him seeing our doctors, it is best for us to take the rest of the season and rest Cam and let him heal so that he can have a successful spring and start next season with us,” Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said.

“We have tried; Cam’s got a tremendous heart, he’s a hard worker, I know he’s been through a lot and he’s been pushing trying to get there but due to the nature of the injury he’s going to be fine but it is best — in his best interest, in the best interest of the team — that he have this year to heal up and then come back and join us next season and in spring ball with the offseason workouts,” Cristobal said.

“You wish these timelines are sometimes quicker than what they are but some of those things are unpredictable,” Cristobal said. “The plan for him is a strong one, it’s a solid one, an airtight one.

“We’re here to support him and make sure he gets back to full strength. Our student-athletes and their health and welfare is always going to be at the forefront of every decision. We look forward to him being there with us through this process to coach his teammates and be there for them and certainly join us in the offseason and get back on track.”

McCormick, who was expected to be Oregon’s No. 1 tight end this season, went through pregame warm-ups in full uniform for the second time in three weeks prior to ­Oregon’s 35-3 win over Montana last Saturday.

“We wanted to see how he felt,” Cristobal said. “We wanted to see if this thing is something he could push through. The decision was made at the end of warm-ups that, ‘You know what, let’s re-evaluate this thing,’ and it was re-evaluated and that’s why we’re going forward with this particular process.”

McCormick was an all-Intermountain Conference tight end and defensive end as a junior at Summit High School in 2014. A knee injury ended his senior season early. After a redshirt year at Oregon in 2016, McCormick played in all 13 games for the Ducks in 2017, making six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. Last season was a wash for McCormick after he was injured in the opener, but he came into this season atop the Oregon depth chart at tight end.

The No. 16 Ducks still have five other scholarship tight ends on the roster this season.