Earlier in the week, Ohio State announced the departure of junior defensive end Nick Bosa, who has chosen to focus on his rehabilitation in preparation for the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Buckeyes have been without Bosa since the second half of the TCU game, so they have grown accustomed to his absence.
Last week, that absence was felt even more because the Ohio State defense was also without starting defensive end Jonathon Cooper, who sat the game out due to a concussion.
The good news for the Buckeyes this week is that Cooper has been cleared and practiced this week. Speaking on his weekly radio show, head coach Urban Meyer said Cooper should be back in the lineup Saturday night at Purdue.
Staying on the defensive line, nose tackle Robert Landers continues to be probable. Like defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones, Landers has played hurt over the last few weeks, which has impacted OSU’s run defense.
Also returning from concussion protocol is starting Will linebacker Malik Harrison. Harrison missed last week’s game as well. Justin Hilliard played in his place for his first career start.
Sophomore right tackle Thayer Munford left last week’s game after getting rolled up on, but Meyer said Thursday during his radio show that Munford is probable this week.
Speaking with offensive line coach Greg Studrawa Wednesday evening, Studrawa said that Munford was dealing with a hip issue and had not yet practiced. If Munford has now been cleared, he won’t have a lot of practice time in order to get ready, but Meyer always stresses the important of mental reps regardless of the position.
The offensive line is already thin without fifth-year senior Brady Taylor and fourth-year junior Branden Bowen. However, according to Meyer, they could both be returning within the next week or so.
Cornerback Damon Arnette is still questionable. If he is not able to go this weekend, the Ohio State secondary may not be able to rotate cornerbacks like they normally do. Redshirt freshman Shaun Wade would likely move to the No. 3 cornerback, but he is also the starting nickel back and the backup strong safety.