Oregon did not have much of an injury list to start fall football camp.
“We are real healthy,” UO coach Mario Cristobal said after the first practice on Friday. “Everyone practiced today. … I feel good about our health and conditioning.”
The most prominent player that was limited during the opening workout was Cam McCormick, who recently twisted his ankle, but the junior tight end said he will be up to full speed in a couple of days.
“Nothing serious, just a little bit sore,” McCormick said. “I need to be here for the long run so this is a precautionary thing and that is why I wasn’t out there much. I was doing my own thing, some rehab stuff to get my sweat up. Just one of those things at the beginning of camp.”
Offensive lineman Sam Poutasi was also limited as he comes off a knee injury suffered in the Redbox Bowl. Cornerback Haki Woods Jr., who was given a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA, is recovering from a mild ankle sprain in the summer.
“Everyone on the treatment staff does a phenomenal job working with us,” McCormick said. “They get us better and push us to where we are able to go. That is a great thing that everyone is ready to go.”
McCormick earned a starting job last year before suffering a broken bone in his left leg during the season opener against Bowling Green that ended his season. He returned to practice in the spring.
“I had spring to get back into it,” he said. “I am excited for fall camp to see what this team can do. I feel like we are really ready.”
Seeking special teams improvement
Oregon has experienced punters and kickers, but Cristobal wants to see improvement from both of those positions.
“We struggled in the kicking game,” he said. “The trajectory of our punts was low and they did not go very far. Our kicking-game range was limited. … We are repping it like an open battle for the position and those guys know it. They have done a good job competing.”
Kicker Adam Stack was 6-for-10 on field goals with a long of 39 yards last season when he was slowed by injuries. Junior Zach Emerson handled kickoffs for the Ducks last year, and freshman Camden Lewis arrived for spring practices.
“Stack looked like the guy we saw a couple years ago before he got tweaked up,” Cristobal said. “Emerson and Lewis have competed hard. They all have a great opportunity.”
Stack was Oregon’s punter as a freshman in 2017 when he averaged 38.4 yards. Senior Blake Maimone returns after averaging 42.5 yards per punt last season while sharing duties with freshman Tom Snee, who averaged 35.2 yards.
“We need more hang time across the board,” Snee said. “If we can limit their returns and get a fair catch every time, it doesn’t matter who is back there because they can’t return the ball. Hang time is definitely something I worked on in the offseason.”