EUGENE, Ore. — Chip Kelly said at Duck media day last Monday that tight end Colt Lyerla wasn’t with the team because he had to “take care of some things” but that he would be back “shortly”.
“Shortly” ended up being eight days.
Lyerla returned to practice Tuesday, but he’s unavailable to the media for the foreseeable future.
The sophomore tight end now must go through the acclimation process per NCAA rules — two days in just a helmet, two days in shells — before he can suit up in full pads and take part in full contact drills.
Chip Kelly said after practice Tuesday Lyerla looked good in his first day back but that he’s not ready to put him in there with the one’s.
Lyerla’s expected, based on his experience from last year, to be David Paulson’s replacement. He appeared in 12 games last season as a true freshman, catching seven passes (five of those touchdowns).
But Kelly’s nowhere near ready to declare him the starter.
“Our depth at tight end is not behind Colt,” Kelly said. “Our depth at tight end is we’ll figure out who our starting tight end is when we get there and it’s an open competition.”
Click the video player above to hear more from Kelly and some of Lyerla’s fellow tight ends on how he looked at practice and what it’s like having him back.