Injuries Will Cause Some Adjustments For The Buckeyes

It wouldn’t be a November in Columbus if there weren’t some Buckeyes with bumps and bruises.

On Tuesday, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters and dropped a handful of updates on the health of his team. Every one of which will cause some adjustments for each side of the ball.

In the quest for brevity, the injuries currently look like this: running back Miyan Williams was announced as out for the season; starting quarterback Kyle McCord is toughing it out with a lower leg injury that Day isn’t overly keen on making too much of; backup quarterback Devin Brown is expected to start practicing this week after suffering his own lower leg injury against Penn State two weeks ago; starting receiver Emeka Egbuka could have played last week and will practice this week, so he could return at Rutgers; starting strong safety Lathan Ransom is out for an undisclosed period of time.

The absence of Ransom means that the Buckeyes will now move starting nickel Sonny Styles to strong safety. This also means that Jordan Hancock will likely be playing every nickel snap for the Buckeyes until Ransom returns and Styles moves back to where he’s been all season long.

Even though Hancock and Styles have essentially been interchangeable this season, Knowles has no concerns about the two of them playing together, which they did quite a bit on the road at Wisconsin last Saturday.

“No concerns,” he said. “I think they’ve both proven themselves in a lot of different dimensions. So I don’t have any concerns about it.”

The concern at quarterback is one that Ryan Day has attempted to minimize. As he is peppered with questions about whether or not McCord’s ankle injury is impacting his accuracy, Day also points to a strong second-half showing for McCord against the Badgers.

“Well, this time of year, everybody does have things that, you know, bumps and bruises and things,” he said. “There’s a difference between hurt and being injured. Another example of a guy who really fought through it and showed toughness in that game. And once you get in November, that’s what’s going to happen, you’ve got to play depth and guys have got to work through those types of things. He showed his toughness in that game. So that’s why we had to get back in here, get healthy this week, and have a great week of practice.”

Some of that depth may be returning soon if Devin Brown has a good week of practice for the Buckeyes. He has been utilized as a red-zone option of late for the Buckeyes, with glimpses of success. It’s not clear if he would immediately return to that role in his first game back, whenever that game may be, of course.

“We’re expecting Devin to practice today,” Day said on Tuesday. “In what capacity, we’ll see. But we’re gonna see him out there today.”

Another Buckeye who will be back practicing is junior receiver Emeka Egbuka, who has missed Ohio State’s last three games. He wasn’t listed on OSU’s injury report last week, but was a late scratch as the staff wanted to give him one more week of rest.

Will he finally be back on the field at Rutgers on Saturday?

“We’re expecting him to practice this week, he was available for the game on Saturday, we just didn’t feel like he was quite where he needed to be,” Day said. “But we’re looking for a full day of work here today. And then a full week going in, wanting him to be full-go, but he was ready, and he’s working hard.”

One Buckeye who unfortunately won’t be full-go any time soon is Miyan Williams, who underwent a procedure which ended his season.

Williams led Ohio State in rushing last year with 825 yards and 14 touchdowns. This season has been up and down for him, however, as he has rushed for just 158 yards on 49 carries in six games.

Williams was a surprise scratch last week against Wisconsin. Day said it was a procedure on a knee, but not an ACL.

“So I feel really bad for Miyan that he’s not gonna be able to play,” Day said. “Had a procedure done, and so they let us know that he’s gonna be out for the season. Miyan’s done a lot of great things for us. That’s a big hit for that room and for our team, but the good news is we have some good depth in that room.”

The depth has been helped greatly by the return of leading rusher TreVeyon Henderson, who rushed for 162 yards in the 24-10 win at Wisconsin.

The Williams injury may move sophomore Dallan Hayden back into the picture, though the staff is still invested in saving his redshirt if possible. He has played in two games to this point and can still play in two others.

Chip Trayanum will likely remain the backup running back, which he has been all season long. In lieu of running the ball with Hayden, the Buckeyes could turn once again to receiver Xavier Johnson, who has carried the ball 16 times this season, as well as in games against Michigan and Georgia last year.

Redshirt sophomore Evan Pryor is still available as well if needed.

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