It was hard to miss the cast that Oregon linebacker Troy Dye had on his left thumb and wrist over the last half of the 2019 season. And it turns out that broken thumb wasn’t the only major injury the Ducks’ leading tackler played with over the final games of the season.
Dye told the Oregonian at the NFL combine Wednesday that he suffered a torn meniscus in one of his knees against Arizona on Nov. 16 and kept playing. That included Oregon’s Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin. After the story came out, Dye verified that he played the last third of the season with this retweet.
The Arizona game was the third game after Oregon’s win over Washington. Dye broke his right thumb early in the game against the Huskies and stayed in the game. He talked about the thumb injury after that Washington win with the Pac-12 Network.
At least one of his teammates didn’t know that Dye was playing through a knee injury at the end of the season. The Ducks rebounded from a loss to Arizona State to finish the season at 13-1 and No. 5 in the AP poll.
“Troy’s as tough as it gets,” center Jake Hanson told the Oregonian. “I didn’t know that he had a significant knee injury. I knew that he was a little banged up, but I had no idea it was such a significant injury that needed surgery or anything like that. Troy’s a great competitor, he’s a great teammate, he’s a great leader. He’s really everything you want.”
Dye led the team in tackles with 84 and was second on the team with 9.5 tackles for loss. It was the fourth straight season he had been Oregon’s leading tackler.
Dye pulled out of the Senior Bowl in January because of the knee injury and isn’t participating in the combine’s physical drills either as he recovers and preps for the draft. He’s a likely mid-round pick, according to Yahoo Sports NFL draft analyst Eric Edholm.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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