Ohio State’s backfield won’t be at full strength Saturday.
OSU STATUS REPORT FOR NORTHWEST
WR JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA
Buckeyes rushing leader Treveon Henderson is one of 12 players listed as unavailable on Ohio State’s official status report before kickoff against Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois. Henderson, who has 552 yards and 6 touchdowns on 96 attempts in 2022, will have his second complete game of the year. That leaves Ohio State with just three healthy scholarships for Saturday’s matchup.
Henderson suffered a foot injury that sidelined him after taking just four plays in the Buckeyes’ Week 3 game against Toledo, and despite returning to action the following week, Henderson sat out Week 5. against Michigan State after suffering a serious injury early in the third quarter.
Henderson, who started both games after the bye week, rushed for 116 yards on 27 carries against Iowa and Penn State. Both of those touchdowns came in the fourth quarter of Ohio State’s win over the Nittany Lions last week, a contest in which Mian Williams left with an injury after two games.
But Williams, who leads Ohio State with 10 rushing touchdowns and an average of 6.9 yards per carry, will be available to play against Northwestern’s 109th-ranked rushing defense in Illinois.
Ryan Day said he expects to see true freshman Dalan Hayden this week and Arizona State transfer Chip Trayanum, who started at linebacker following a season-ending injury to walk running back TC Caffey, will receive snaps in the backfield against Northwestern. Running back Kaiden Saunders on a walk will also be out for Saturday’s game.
Running backs aren’t the only ones affected by injuries this week. Jackson Smith-Njigba will miss his sixth game of the season after sustaining a hamstring injury suffered in Week 1. It was Smith-Njigba’s second straight absence after returning to play part of the first half against Iowa a week later.
Cornerback Cameron Brown will sit out the Northwestern game, the fifth game he’s missed in 2022. Second-year defensive back JK Johnson has started each of the past two games for the Browns at cornerback, but so has Jordan Hancock. He saw regular snaps in the rotation against Penn State opposite Denzel Burke.
Long rusher Bradley Robinson is still out after suffering a knee injury against Iowa.