The hope is James will be back sooner than later -- certainly sooner than how his dislocated elbow seemed to initially indicate -- but while he's not in the huddle, Thomas will need to take charge, starting with a tricky date with Arizona State on Oct. 15.
• Stephen Alexander reports De'Anthony Thomas had some one-on-one time with Chip Kelly last week.
“My secretary doesn’t want to talk to me, so I decided to hang out with De’Anthony,” Kelly says. “He’s got to play running back, he’s got to play receiver, we were bouncing him around from meetings to meetings. I know a little bit about the offense, so I said, ‘Why don’t you just hang out with me?’”
• Ken Goe says the Ducks have nine days to figure out a gameplan for ASU assuming LMJ doesn't return right away.
• Here are three more stories regarding LMJ's injury as we wait for official word on MRI results. Rumor (Twitter) has it there is no ligament damage which would be great news. Stories from George Schroeder, Aaron Fentress and Ted Miller.
• Keeerrrttt has a "Duck Tales" story regarding the era of the transfer running backs.
• Dale Newton grades the Cal game where he likes most aspects but misses Cliff Harris.
Overall, the Ducks played a good game, winning handily on national television, running their record to 2-0 and 3-1. But with LaMichael's status uncertain over the next few weeks, they'll have to challenge themselves. Other key players have to take a bigger role and set the pace. 200 yards of offense is suddenly missing, and they can't count on LaMichael to take over games. They may face their toughest conference opponents without their biggest star. Class is in session, and the Ducks have to ace their midterms. The material gets harder as they go deeper into the book.