COLUMBUS — The Buckeyes may be trading out offensive playmakers as the team heads to West Lafayette this weekend for a game at Purdue.
On Tuesday, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said that junior running back TreVeyon Henderson would be back this week after missing last week’s 37-17 win over Maryland.
Henderson rushed for 104 yards in OSU’s 17-14 win at Notre Dame, and leads the team with 295 yards on 44 attempts this season. The Buckeyes rushed for just 62 yards on 33 carries against Maryland, so Henderson’s return could not come soon enough.
While that is the good news, the bad news is that junior wide receiver Emeka Egbuka’s status is much cloudier. Egbuka left last week’s game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury, which Day described as not seeming “like something major,” but cautioned they were still waiting for more information.
The message hasn’t really changed three days later when asked if Egbuka would be able to play this week.
“One thing I can tell you is that it’s not going to be a long-term issue,” Day said. “We’ll probably have a better idea of how he’s doing later in the week. The good news was that it’s not a long-term issue. We’ll reevaluate it as the week goes on.”
Egbuka is second on the team in receptions this season with 22, and third in yardage with 303. His three touchdown catches are one behind teammate Marvin Harrison, Jr. for the team lead.
If Egbuka cannot go on Saturday, the Buckeyes will likely turn to a combination of sixth-year senior Xavier Johnson and true freshman Carnell Tate. Johnson is Egbuka’s backup in the slot, but they will move starters Harrison and Julian Fleming around to find a fit where needed for Tate.
Johnson has four catches for 58 yards this season, while Tate has posted five catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.
With Henderson back, he is also one of the team’s most dangerous pass catchers, so quarterback Kyle McCord will also have him as an option as well.