Stanford defense healing up somewhat for Oregon game

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

An important senior defensive end returns for the Cardinal.

Stanford's defense has a huge Thursday night test this week when it hosts the explosive and undefeated Oregon Ducks, and the Cardinal will receive some help in the form of defensive end Henry Anderson, who will return for the game.

Anderson, a senior, was hurt in the Cardinal's second game of the year -- a win over Army. Last season, he had 12 tackles for a loss, five passes broken up and 4.5 sacks. He's a key part of the Cardinal pressure up front, and will be important against an Oregon offense that is one of the best in the nation.

The Ducks rank at the top of the Pac-12 in scoring offense by a healthy margin (55.6 points per game, nearly 10 more than next-best Arizona State) and total offense (632.1 yards per game, a staggering 117 more than the second-place Sun Devils). Meanwhile, Stanford's defense ranks third in both categories, and will need all the help it can get to keep up with Oregon.

Anderson's return may be able to help offset the bad news Stanford got earlier in the week, when it was learned that defensive end Ben Gardner would miss the rest of his senior season with an injury.

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Opening lines: Bama, Oregon, Baylor favored in next week’s huge games

• Long read: Inside Chip Kelly’s New Hampshire laboratory

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