The Ohio State running back room will not be full on Saturday.
OSU SITUATION REPORT FOR THE NORTH WEST
WR JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA
Buckeye frontman TreVeyon Henderson is one of 12 players listed as unavailable in Ohio State’s official status report ahead of the noon kickoff against Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois. Henderson, who has 552 yards and six scores on 96 attempts in 2022, will miss his second full game of the year. That leaves Ohio State with just three healthy running backs for Saturday’s game.
Henderson suffered a foot injury that sidelined him after just four carries in the Buckeyes’ Week 3 meeting with Toledo, and despite returning to action the following week, Henderson sat out in Week 5. Back on the court in Week 6, Henderson’s day ended early. against Michigan State following a blow early in the third quarter.
Starting both games after the bye week, Henderson rushed for 116 yards and two scores on 27 carries against Iowa and Penn State. Those two touchdowns came in the fourth quarter of Ohio State’s win over the Nittany Lions last week, a contest in which Miyan Williams left with an injury after just two carries.
But Williams, who leads Ohio State with 10 rushing touchdowns and averaging 6.9 yards per carry, is available to play against Northwestern’s leading 109th defense at Illinois.
Ryan Day said this week he expects to see true rookie Dallan Hayden and Arizona State trade Chip Trayanum, who moved from linebacker to running back after a season-ending injury at TC Caffey, receive snaps in the backfield against Northwestern. Running back Cayden Saunders is also out for Saturday’s game.
Running back isn’t the only position group hit by injury this week. Jaxon Smith-Njigba will miss his sixth game of the season as he deals with a hamstring injury sustained in Week 1. This is Smith-Njigba’s second consecutive absence since returning to play for part of the first half against Iowa after the bye week.
Starting cornerback Cameron Brown will also be absent from the North West game, which will be the fifth game he has missed in 2022. Sophomore defensive back JK Johnson has started each of the last two games in Brown’s place. at cornerback, though Jordan Hancock also saw regular snaps in the rotation against Denzel Burke against Penn State.
Longtime snapper Bradley Robinson remains unavailable after suffering a knee injury against Iowa that is expected to sideline him for the rest of the season, and Buckeye captains Kourt Williams and Kamryn Babb are among the other Buckeyes who will be discarded on Saturday.
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