Buckeye Linebacker Justin Hilliard Out Indefinitely Following Achilles Injury

Justin Hilliard Ohio State Football Buckeyes

During Saturday’s practice, Ohio State senior linebacker Justin Hilliard had to be carted off of the field due to a leg injury. The significance of the injury wasn’t known then, but today Lettermen Row is reporting it as an Achilles injury for Hilliard.

Ohio State confirmed that Hilliard has already undergone surgery. OSU also confirmed that redshirt freshman receiver Kamryn Babb will undergo surgery for his injury within the next week. Ohio State would not disclose the nature of either injury, however.

Both players are out indefinitely.

The announcement of Hilliard’s injury comes exactly one year to the day of Tuf Borland’s Achilles injury. Borland was able to return in time for the season opener against Oregon State last year, but it was routinely remarked that Borland was a fast healer and that normal timeframes didn’t pertain to him. It also appeared at times while he was playing that he wasn’t yet back to his 2017 form.

Hilliard’s career has been one filled with injuries, and it was clear seeing him leave the field on Saturday that another significant obstacle had just been placed in front of him.

His first two seasons at Ohio State saw him deal with separate biceps injuries. He bounced back to record 14 tackles as a redshirt sophomore, and then last year he was one of the Buckeyes’ best special teamers, recording a career-best 20 tackles.

This spring new linebackers coach Al Washington was relying on veterans like Hilliard as Ohio State implements a new defensive scheme.

“Those guys, I tell you, Pete Werner, Justin Hilliard, Baron Browning, those guys have been there,” Washington said. “They’ve got equity. You respect that. That stuff matters.”

Hilliard has been here before, so he knows what it takes to get back. Given his injury history, however, rather than rush him back this season, OSU could instead choose to appeal for a sixth year for Hilliard and have it approved.

A sixth year in this instance requires two missed seasons due to injury, which could actually be the situation already even if Hilliard returns to play this year.

6 Responses

  1. Poor kid can’t catch a break. I hope he heals fully, but in his own time.

  2. Been a rough offseason/spring so far for the Buckeyes.

    1. Too bad for Justin Hilliard. If it weren’t for bad luck he’d have no luck at all.
      Hope the downtown QB’s give him more of a break when he tries to cone back than they did with Tuf Borland. I hope all those jackasses that have shots at Tuf just go ahead and “have a shit burger” for lunch. These stupid people have never had more of an injury other than a “sprained finger” to deal with.
      Good luck Justin.

  3. Tough break for the kid. It just hasn’t worked out.

    1. Captain Jack Frysinger- your obscenity laden comment comes off as really sincere regarding your empathy for Justin Hilliard. Real classy- congrats… As for your snide comment about the “fan QBs” out there- YOU ARE ONE! I have just a tiny bit of experience with tearing an Achilles, as I suffered a full tear several years ago. I was disgusted not with Tuf Borland, but rather the convoluted justifications used to validate his being rushed back far too soon last season. It was apparent he was not healed…Life is hard, Jack- it’s even harder when you’re stupid (thanks to John Wayne for that one). Your serve? I’m sure you were the Captain of your high school tennis team, so I’ll be expecting a real burner in return…

  4. This is VERY sad news for Justin Hilliard. The quick turnaround on surgery almost certainly indicates a fully ruptured Achilles, so any responsible handling of that injury would mean 2019 is simply out of the question for him. I hope he makes a full recovery and can play in 2020 if he so chooses…
    How strange it is that today’s announcement comes one year exactly to the day of Borland’s injury. I can only hope that Hilliard’s situation is handled more humanely than Borland’s (the stuff about Borland being a “fast healer” was utter nonsense and he shouldn’t have been playing so soon). I’ll be pulling for Justin for sure.

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