Marcus Mariota said after practice Monday that he will "for sure" play against Utah this week despite the reported left MCL strain he suffered ahead of Oregon's game against Stanford last Thursday. Mariota had to leave the Stanford game in the third quarter after taking a hit that aggravated the knee, but he was able to return after getting some treatment.
It's thought that Mariota originally hurt his knee on Oct. 26 against UCLA, when he was seen wearing a knee brace after halftime. His return in Stanford wasn't enough to help the Ducks overcome the Cardinal, and due in part to that knee injury, he finished the game with a season-low -16 rushing yards. It was the first time all year he'd been held to negative rushing yardage.
"My knee is what it is,'' Mariota said Monday. "That's not an excuse. I'm not going to let it be an excuse.'' When asked if he is 100 percent, he would not answer one way or the other.