Ohio State has returned a couple key players who missed the season opener with injuries.
Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday will play in Saturday's game against Cincinnati, Ohio State announced on Friday in its status report. Both defensive ends were listed as game-time decisions for last week's season opener, worked out before the game in their uniforms but did not play. Rashod Berry will also play against Cincinnati.
Starting defensive end Jonathon Cooper remains out with an injury. Wide receiver C.J. Saunders and defensive tackle Taron Vincent both missed the season opener against Florida Atlantic with injuries and they remain out for Saturday's game. Kamryn Babb, Cormontae Hamilton, Ronnie Hickman, Justin Hilliard and Jaden McKenzie also remain listed as unavailable for the second week in a row.
|Ohio State Status Report for Cincinnati|
WR Kamryn Babb
DE Jonathon Cooper
TE Cormontae Hamilton
S Ronnie Hickman
LB Justin Hilliard
DT Jaden McKenzie
H-B C.J. Saunders
DT Taron Vincent
DT Noah Donald (walk-on)
Last week, Demario McCall was listed as a game-time decision and played in the season opener. He did not appear on this week's status report, meaning he will play in Week 2. No players are listed as game-time decisions this week.
Due to Ohio State's policy this year, the program does not give any insight into how long any players will be out. The status report also does not differentiate between injuries and suspensions.
The return of Friday and Smith gives Ohio State additional depth to its defensive line.
Last week, Davon Hamilton shifted from nose tackle to 3-technique and Jashon Cornell moved from 3-technique to defensive end to help make up for the missing Cooper, Friday and Smith. Hamilton and Cornell are expected to return to their original positions this week, meaning both Friday and Smith could have major roles on Saturday. Friday will start opposite Chase Young. They will join Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Zach Harrison, Alex Williams and Noah Potter to solidify the defensive end rotation.
Berry being back in the lineup further deepens the Buckeyes' tight end rotation, which now includes four players in whom the coaches feel confident.
Ohio State used a heavy amount of multi-tight end sets against Florida Atlantic with Luke Farrell, Jeremy Ruckert and Jake Hausmann. At times, all three were on the field at once. By adding Berry as an additional tight end to the mix, Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson can continue to develop that package on Saturday, adding new wrinkles.