Updating Ohio State’s Injury Situation During the Bye Week
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s that point in a college football season where just about everyone is playing hurt. The undefeated Buckeyes are certainly no exception.
While they have been able to stay relatively healthy on the offensive front line, which is probably their biggest area of concern when it comes to depth, the defense has been battling injuries all over the place this season.
Just about every starter has missed a chunk of time, if not games, because of injury, but Ohio State is using the bye week to get healthy for the final stretch run against Wisconsin and Michigan.
Urban Meyer is hoping that will include the return of linebacker Etienne Sabino, but the senior captain is not the only one Meyer has to worry about heading into next week’s game in Madison.
Photo by Jim Davidson
5 Braxton Miller — Don’t be alarmed by seeing Miller’s name on this list, Ohio State’s quarterback is healthier than he has been in a while. He is now three weeks removed from his nasty spill in the Purdue game, and said this week he feels healthier, fresher and more well-rested than he has in a while.
25 Bri’onte Dunn — Meyer said Thursday that Dunn suffered a knee injury in practice and is questionable for the Wisconsin game. If the Buckeyes had a game Saturday, it sounds like Dunn would not be available, leaving them with just two healthy tailbacks. With another week to heal, Dunn could be ready to go for the game at Wisconsin.
7 Jordan Hall — Meyer also said Thursday that Hall is hopping around much better this week than he has since he injured his knee in the win at Michigan State. If things get desperate, they may reconsider what to do with Hall the rest of the year, but as of now they are still planning to redshirt him (he has only played in 3 games) so he can return as a fifth-year senior next season.
28 Warren Ball — One reason the Buckeyes are a little thinner than expected at tailback is the season-ending injury to Ball. He wasn’t going to pass any of those other guys on the depth chart, but certainly would have played on some special teams. He probably would have gotten some carries, too, with all the injuries.
Photo by Jim Davidson
11 Jake Stoneburner — The senior tight end turned wide receiver suffered a knee injury in practice last week. He played through the injury against Illinois, but Meyer said he wasn’t very effective after playing the three best games of his season the previous three weeks. Stoneburner has not practiced much this week and is questionable for the Wisconsin game.
77 Reid Fragel — Ohio State’s starting right tackle injured his leg in the win over Illinois on Saturday. He was replaced by freshman Taylor Decker, who finished out the game, but partially because Meyer went to his entire second-team offensive line on the next possession. Fragel hasn’t practiced much this week, but he should be back for the Wisconsin game. If not, Decker will get the first start of his career at right tackle.
60 Joey O’Connor — The freshman out of Colorado will miss his entire rookie season at Ohio State because of a knee injury. He is no longer on crutches following his surgery, but O’Connor is out for the year.
63 Michael Bennett — It has been a tough year for sophomore Michael Bennett. Actually, it’s been a tough two years. He broke his arm in the U.S. Army All-American game before last season and just can’t seem to stay healthy. He battled a nagging groin injury early in the season that kept him out of the first four games of the year. He started his first game at Penn State, but played only sparingly against Illinois because he is battling another injury. He hasn’t practiced this week, but has already played too many games for a medical redshirt.
Photo by Jim Davidson
6 Etienne Sabino – Sabino has practiced twice this week and optimism is high that he’ll be ready to play against Wisconsin a week from Saturday. He hasn’t played in a month because of a broken leg, and the fact he’s still hobbling around suggests he probably won’t be quite at full-strength, even if he does play in Madison.
32 Storm Klein — Klein has been limited in practice because of a bulging disc in his back. It’s a pretty debilitating injury, but Klein has still been playing on some special teams. He hasn’t seen much time at linebacker the last few weeks, with Zach Boren establishing himself as the starter at MLB.
19 Orhian Johnson — Johnson injured his upper body during Ohio State’s win over Illinois on Saturday. It looked like a possible concussion with the way Johnson was laying on the turf, but it’s being called a shoulder contusion. Either way, Johnson has not practiced this week and his status is uncertain for the Wisconsin game. If he can’t go, the Buckeyes will use Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown in the nickel, but they should be in a lot more base defense against the Badgers.
16 Zach Domicone — The senior safety has been in and out of the lineup during the majority of his career at Ohio State, but Domicone was really coming on as a special teams coverage guy before he went down in practice. He didn’t play last week against Illinois, and has not practiced this week.
21 Jamie Wood — The junior safety is out for the year after undergoing his second shoulder surgery in 10 months. He has one year of eligibility left, but could be finished with his playing days.
26 Armani Reeves — The freshman corner has missed the last four games with a high ankle sprain. He was questionable for the Illinois game, but did not suit up on Saturday. With two weeks between games, Reeves should be back for the trip to Madison.
16 Najee Murray — Another freshman cornerback, Murray is out for the year with a torn ACL suffered in practice.
30 De’van Bogard — Like Murray, Bogard is out for the year with a torn ACL. His came during a game on a non-contact play.
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