Not only did the Ducks (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) get upset by Arizona 44-15 for their second straight loss, but on Monday Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal confirmed that starting quarterback Justin Herbert and star receiver Dillon Mitchell are both undergoing concussion protocol.
It means the status for both players is uncertain for Saturday’s game against UCLA in Eugene, Ore., which will mark the return of Bruins coach Chip Kelly to Autzen Stadium.
Herbert, projected to be a first-round NFL draft choice, had one of his worst games as a starter against the Wildcats, completing 24 of 48 passes for 186 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Cristobal did not know when Herbert sustained the injury.
“That’s always hard to tell,” he said. “You never know. It might have been at the end — it looks like that may have been the point — but not being a doctor, I can’t really comment.”
Herbert was met by several defenders near the goal-line after a scramble on the final series of the game. He remained in the game and threw an incomplete pass on fourth down.
If Herbert cannot play, freshman Tyler Shough might make his first start for the Ducks. Sophomore Braxton Burmeister replaced Herbert last season when Herbert was injured, but Burmeister had knee surgery recently.
Mitchell left earlier in the game after taking a hard hit near the sideline. He leads the team in receptions (48) and receiving yards (677), and he had six catches for 69 yards and a touchdown against Arizona before the injury.
His 239 receiving yards against Stanford earlier this year was the fifth-highest single-game total in an FBS game this season.