After missing the first four games of the season due to an undisclosed injury, senior defensive end Jonathon Cooper is finally back in the Ohio State lineup.
Ohio State released their Friday availability report and Cooper’s lack of presence on the list is very welcome news for the Buckeyes. Cooper’s return is even more important with sophomore defensive end Tyreke Smith suffering an injury during the Miami (OH) game. Smith is listed as out.
Last season as a starter for the Buckeyes, Cooper finished the year with 2.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss. It remains to be seen how much time he will see, but you know he’ll be shooting out of the blocks once he is given a chance.
The other big news from the report is the fact that fifth-year senior right tackle Branden Bowen is listed as a game-time decision. Bowen’s injury is undisclosed, but The-Ozone has been told that it is not related to his leg injury from the last two seasons.
If Bowen can’t go, expect redshirt freshman Nicholas Petit-Frere to get the start at right tackle. The two of them have battled since the start of fall camp and it was close throughout. Petit-Frere has played valuable minutes this season and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa hasn’t hesitated to put him in the game this year.
Also appearing on the availability list rather unexpectedly is sophomore linebacker Teradja Mitchell. Mitchell has played a bit on defense as a backup, as well as on special teams.
Senior H-back CJ Saunders is still out, as is sophomore defensive tackle Taron Vincent.
Here is the entire availability report.
Ohio State at Nebraska – Sept. 28, 2019 – Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.
§ OT Branden Bowen
§ WR Kamryn Babb
§ DT Noah Donald
§ SAF Ronnie Hickman
§ LB Teradja Mitchell
§ H-B C.J. Saunders
§ DE Tyreke Smith
§ DT Taron Vincent