Report: Shoulder Injury Knocks Simon Out of Senior Bowl
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — First Reid Fragel, now John Simon.
The two Ohio State seniors from the undefeated 2012 Buckeyes were preparing to make a case for their NFL futures on Saturday, but now that will have to wait.
Photo by Jim Davidson
According to Zac Jackson of Fox Sports Ohio, Simon will likely miss the Senior Bowl down in Mobile, Ala. because of a shoulder injury. Fragel had already backed out of the postseason all-star game because of an issue with his ankle.
There is no exact explanation for the injury to Simon, who took part in the first Senior Bowl practice on Monday before sitting out the last two. According to Jackson, who is down in Mobile covering the event for Fox Sports Ohio, Simon will require a further inspection, and he is expected to make the trip over to Birmingham, where he will meet with orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews.
Simon battled multiple injuries throughout his senior season at Ohio State, but still managed to win the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year. He led the conference with nine sacks during the regular season and his 14.5 tackles for loss were second on the team behind linebacker Ryan Shazier, and sixth most in the Big Ten this past season.
A product of Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, Simon missed senior day in Columbus because of a knee injury. He told Jackson earlier in the week he expected to play in that game against Michigan back in November up until about 10 minutes before kickoff.
“Even when the team was out warming up and I was in the locker room getting ready, doing to some stuff to try to fix it,” he told Jackson earlier this week.
“I still thought I was going to be able to go out there. I came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to be able to do it. That was a very long walk.”
The knee injury was just the latest for Simon, a relentless defender who works every bit as hard in the weightroom as he does chasing quarterbacks around in the backfield. He played an emotion-filled game against Cal early in the season with a shoulder injury that head coach Urban Meyer could not even imagine.
“When you say sore, for most human beings they're probably laid up in the Ohio State Medical Center, because that's how tough he is,” Meyer said during his postgame press conference following Ohio State’s 35-28 win over Cal in September.
“He almost didn't play. I didn't know that because they told me all week he should be fine. He didn't practice much because of his sore shoulder. He almost didn't play this game.”
That was the same day Meyer mentioned wanting to name a possible future child after his senior co-captain.
“I’ve done this a long time and he's as good … you mark that down there, can you put a jersey up there or something that says John Simon, because that's a grown ass man,” an emotional Meyer said that day.
“Excuse my language, but that's a guy. It makes all of us look in the mirror and say: Are we doing enough for our team? That guy, what he just did in there, not to give you too much of what went on in there, but am I doing enough?”
Now it appears Simon may have re-aggravated that shoulder injury from earlier in the season. It comes on the heels of a rough first day of practice down in Mobile, where he was being asked to work as an outside linebacker instead of a defensive lineman.
Early indications are that Simon projects as a third round pick in the NFL Draft, but now he will face even more scrutiny during medical examinations at next month’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
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