Ohio State junior middle linebacker Baron Browning is out for this week’s game at Northwestern.
The Buckeyes have released their weekly availability report, which features Browning listed among those who won’t be playing Friday night. No reason or injury information has been provided.
Browning is the team’s third-leading tackler on the season (23) and has actually played more snaps than starting middle linebacker Tuf Borland this season. Browning also sees a bunch of snaps on passing downs, which will now likely go to Borland. Or perhaps the Buckeyes will change some things around and play more of the Bullet and have Will linebacker Malik Harrison play the middle on passing downs.
The linebacker position may be boosted with the return of sophomore Teradja Mitchell, who is now a game-time decision. Mitchell has missed the last couple games for the Buckeyes.
The other big news from the availability report is that starting left tackle Thayer Munford is a game-time decision. That situation is made even more tenuous by the fact that reserve offensive tackle Josh Alabi is out this week. Alabi has been a spot starter for the Buckeyes this season and last, so his absence could be significant this week.
If Munford can’t go, starting right tackle Branden Bowen would likely move to the left side and redshirt freshman Nicholas Petit-Frere would then get his first career start at right tackle.
The only other player listed as a game-time decision is fifth-year H-back CJ Saunders, who was also a game-time decision two weeks ago.
There is a new name among those listed as out this week. Fourth-year junior tight end Jake Hausmann will not play Friday. He has been an active part of Ohio State’s four-man rotation at tight end.
The other five Buckeyes who are out this week are receivers Ellijah Gardiner and Kamryn Babb, defensive tackles Taron Vincent and Noah Donald, and safety Ronnie Hickman.
Here is the list in its entirety.
* LB Teradja Mitchell
* LT Thayer Munford
* HB CJ Saunders
* OT Josh Alabi
* WR Kamryn Babb
* LB Baron Browning
* DT Noah Donald
*WR Ellijah Gardiner
* TE Jake Hausmann
* SAF Ronnie Hickman
* DT Taron Vincent