No. 9 Oregon preps for No. 18 ASU without James

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon coach Chip Kelly likes to say that in running backs LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner, the Ducks have option No. 1 and No. 1a -- because Barner is so close to James' skill level that he can hardly be considered backup material.

That means Oregon doesn't expect to lose a step in James' likely absence when the ninth-ranked Ducks host No. 18 Arizona State on Saturday night.

James dislocated his right elbow in Oregon's 43-15 victory over California on Oct. 6. The nation's top running back appeared smiling outside the locker room after the gruesome-looking injury, explaining how he'd popped the elbow back in place himself.

Earlier this week he wouldn't rule himself out of the game against the Sun Devils, but it is very doubtful that he'll play.