Home News Sports BYU’s Puka Nacua to attempt to play vs. Oregon football, sources say

BYU’s Puka Nacua to attempt to play vs. Oregon football, sources say

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The wide receiver position for No. 12 BYU could get an upgrade against No. 25 Oregon on Saturday, as one of the program’s injured star receivers will attempt to return.

Puka Nacua, the program’s fastest and most explosive deep threat, has traveled with the team to Oregon and will be a game-time decision with a sprained right ankle, sources told ESPN on Saturday.

BYU’s other injured star receiver, Gunner Romney, will miss his third consecutive game with an undisclosed injury.

The decision on whether or not Nacua plays will depend on how his ankle feels during pregame warmups in Autzen Stadium. He injured his ankle in BYU’s opener against South Florida and missed the Cougars’ victory against Baylor last week.

There’s no rain in the forecast in Eugene for Saturday, which could help Nacua’s footing.

Nacua is regarded as one of the program’s toughest players, but BYU is attempting to balance the need for him to play immediately against the long-term risk of aggravating the injury and losing him for an extended stretch. Looming in the next month on BYU’s schedule is games with Notre Dame and Arkansas after hosting Wyoming and Utah State the next two weeks.

His explosion was evident in the opener against South Florida, as he burst for a 75-yard touchdown run on the game’s first play as BYU cruised to a 50-21 victory. Nacua had 98 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns before suffering his ankle injury.

Romney has been a linchpin of the BYU offense for the past four seasons, starting 25 career games. Romney, who has 1,900 receiving yards and 10 total career touchdowns, did not travel with the team to Eugene.

The absence of those two receivers, who accounted for 60% of BYU’s receiving yards in 2021, left quarterback Jaren Hall finding new targets last week. Redshirt freshman Chase Roberts finished with a career-high 122 receiving yards in the double-overtime win over Baylor.

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