Oregon State starting running back Malcolm Agnew is listed as doubtful for Saturday's game at No. 8 Wisconsin, coach Mike Riley said after Wednesday's practice.
Agnew injured his right hamstring in Tuesday's practice and sat out Wednesday.
If he can't practice today then Riley doesn't plan to play him against the Badgers. He wouldn't have enough game prep even if he was healthy.
"We'll know more about it (today)," Riley said. "But from what we know now it's doubtful."
If Agnew, a true freshman, misses the game another true freshman, Terron Ward, will take his place as the first-down back with Jordan Jenkins and Jovan Stevenson used on third downs.
Ward is the next best well-rounded back who can run, catch and block, Riley said. Blocking will be crucial Saturday for whoever is in at quarterback - Sean Mannion or Ryan Katz.
"He's technically a good blocker," Riley said. "Now it's if he gets the right pickup when we get into the games."
Ward greyshirted last year, which means he delayed enrollment until last winter. He was able to practice with the team in the spring.
Riley quickly noted that Ward would play as a true freshman. He's similar to Agnew in that he can cut quickly and accelerate.
Ward, who needed offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus in a knee, is healthy now. With Agnew running for 223 yards last game, Ward didn't receive a carry. He did play on special teams.
"It's going to be a neat experience," Ward said of possibly starting at Wisconsin. "I just have to keep working hard to get ready."
Agnew said his hamstring felt better Wednesday. He pulled both of them last season and missed much of his senior season in St. Louis, so he plans to be cautious so it doesn't linger.
His left hamstring was more troublesome last year. Agnew believes leftover scar tissue caused the injury to act up.
"I'm just staying optimistic," Agnew said. "And when I'm back, I'm back. I'm definitely worried it will linger because I'm used to hurting it. It's disappointing, especially with a lot of family going to the game."
As for the quarterback situation, Mannion continued to take the bulk of the reps with the first string. Riley said he hasn't finalized a plan in how to use the two quarterbacks, but will have one going into the game.