Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer announced on Monday that starting middle linebacker Tuf Borland has suffered an Achilles tendon injury and could be out for a significant amount of time. Or not.
“He’s got an Achilles injury, so he’s going to miss some time,” Meyer said. “He’s a little bit like J.T. Barrett, you say he’s out for a while, but he’s not going to be out for that long.”
And when asked if Borland’s season could be in jeopardy, Meyer displayed more cautious optimism.
“They tell us no,” he said.
Meyer said the Buckeye linebackers have played well this spring, which included Borland, who was the lone linebacker to solidify himself as a starter this spring.
“Tuf Borland, that just breaks your heart because he’s one of the best kids I’ve ever been around in my life,” Meyer said. “He’s a very good player. He’ll be back.”
Borland started nine games as a redshirt freshman last season, including the final five games of the year.
His first extended action in 2017 came in the Army game. He was inserted into the lineup and led the team with 12 tackles — nine of which were solo. Due to an injury to starting middle linebacker Chris Worley at the time, Borland found himself in the lineup from that point on.
Borland finished fourth on the team with 58 tackles last season and provided a solid middle to the Buckeye defense.
In his place this spring, a pair of former 5-star recruits will battle to pick up the slack. At Monday’s practice, it was fourth-year junior Justin Hilliard running with the ones. Sophomore Baron Browning was working with the second team.