Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota says knee is 'a non-issue.'

Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota says knee is 'a non-issue.'
November 11, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Mariota talks knee injury

Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) looks to pass the ball against the Stanford Cardinal during the first quarter at Stanford Stadium.

(Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

EUGENE – Oregon declines to discuss injuries but some, like the left knee of quarterback Marcus Mariota, are too important to ignore.

Mariota met with the media on Monday for the first time since Oregon’s 26-20 loss at Stanford in which he was visibly impacted by his left knee that was wrapped in a brace.

Mariota assured all that his knee is a non-issue and that he will play Saturday against Utah. How badly injured the knee is, however, he would not discuss.

“That’s something that I can’t talk about,” he said.

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Many speculated that the knee prevented Mariota from running as much against Stanford as he had in other games. He had six carries for negative-16 yards with three carries actually being sacks. He entered the with 59 carries for 511 yards.

But Mariota said Monday that his decisions not to run while executing the zone read were a byproduct of Stanford’s defensive scheme.

“Last week Stanford did a really good job of just having me give the ball [to the running back],” he said.

However, video study revealed opportunities missed.

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“Looking back at the film there were points and times when I should have took off,” he said. “Just have to learn from it.”

He said he wouldn’t allow his knee to prevent him from playing his game.  

“My knee is what it is,” he said. “That’s not going to be an excuse. I’m not going to let it be an excuse.”

He wore a knee brace at practice again on Monday but took full first-team repetitions. Jeff Lockie remains the backup with Jake Rodrigues as the third quarterback.

Mariota was asked how he measures if he is hurting the team by playing with an injured knee more than helping it.

“If it gets to that point I’ll make that judgment,” he said. “But I’ve been taught my whole life not to show weakness.”