The Buckeyes listed 12 players on their injury report prior to Saturday night’s game against Toledo, which was the longest list of names so far this season. And it didn’t even include a handful of other names that didn’t see the field.
Receivers Julian Fleming and Jaxon Smith-Njigba were both listed as game-time decisions, and both ended up playing. They only played about half of the game, however, as further indication of how cautious the staff wanted to be with the team as Wisconsin and Big Ten play looms one week away.
In addition to Fleming and Smith-Njigba being game-time decisions, there were 10 players ruled out of action: Omari Abor, Kamryn Babb, Jantzen Dunn, Jordan Hancock, Jaylen Johnson, Mitchell Melton, Zach Prater, Evan Pryor, Joe Royer, and Teradja Mitchell.
Then, as Ohio State’s defense made its way to the sideline to start the game, safety Josh Proctor and nickel Tanner McCalister were in street clothes, clearly unavailable for action.
And when budding star nose tackle Mike Hall didn’t play a snap in the first quarter, it also became apparent that he was being held out.
Fortunately for the players and the team as a whole, none of the injuries are serious.
“Yeah, they were all available,” head coach Ryan Day said of his trio of defenders. “We just felt like it was the right thing to do coming out of warmups to hold them in the game. But we’re expecting them to be available for next week as well.”
The Buckeyes got a good, long look at what their defense is without Hall in the middle to be a disruptor, and there is little doubt the staff will be happy to have him back next week when Wisconsin’s punishing style of play comes to town.
Another Buckeye who saw very little action was sophomore running back TreVeyon Henderson. Henderson started the game and carried the ball four times on the first drive, but then never saw another snap the rest of the game. His final carry was a 7-yard touchdown run.
Henderson is dealing with a different type of injury than he was a year ago. Following the game, Henderson could be seen in a boot on his left foot, but to this point it doesn’t seem overly serious.
In fact that’s the prognosis for the entirety of guys who were surprise holdouts on the night.
“There’s a handful of those kinds of things that are going on, but we haven’t seen anything that we think is going to be long term,” Day said. “So we’ll kind of regroup after tonight and figure out where everything’s at. But this was a situation with a lot of those guys that we just wanted to be an abundance of caution. Make sure that we were 100% before we put them in the game.
“Same thing with Julian and Jaxon, get them some reps and then kind of got them out of there. So that was good. But yeah, there was a few things, a few guys that were struggling with a couple of things that we decided to hold on.”