Oregon RB Brooks-James iffy for game at No. 24 Cal

Oregon Ducks running back Tony Brooks-James (20), who has an ankle injury, is questionable for Saturday's game at No. 24 Cal.Photo Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon could be without running back Tony Brooks-James for Saturday’s Pacific 12 Conference game at No. 24 California.

Brooks-James sustained an ankle injury in the 19th-ranked Ducks’ 38-31 loss to No. 7 Stanford a week ago — the first defeat for Oregon (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12).

The Ducks also could be without starting defensive end Austin Faoliu, who is dealing with an unspecified injury that kept him out of practice Wednesday and Thursday.

Brooks-James rushed for 27 yards and a touchdown on six carries before he was hurt last week. He is second on the team with 200 yards on 42 carries, including a 107-yard, two-touchdown performance in Week 2. CJ Verdell leads the team with 314 yards and two scores on 59 carries.

Although Ducks coach Mario Cristobal told the Oregonian that the two players are “50-50” for Saturday’s game, he sounded optimistic about the status of Brooks-James.

“He did take some reps (Wednesday) in the running game and then when we got in the good-on-good stuff, where it’s a little bit of a heavier load, we kept him out,” Cristobal said, per the newspaper. “… His was probably a little more serious, but I wouldn’t say definite, but I feel like it’s trending the right way. Pretty good about him playing on Saturday.”

A determination on Faoliu, who has 15 tackles, might not come until closer to game time, Cristobal said.

“We’ve been very conservative with him these last few days to see how far we get him from a health standpoint,” Cristobal said. “We should know by Friday or Saturday morning.”

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