Jonathon Cooper, Tyreke Smith, Robert Landers, Taron Vincent, C.J. Saunders Unavailable For Ohio State's Game Against Miami (Ohio)

By Colin Hass-Hill on September 20, 2019 at 11:03 am
Jonathon Cooper and Tyreke Smith

Ohio State will be without four defensive linemen on Saturday.

Defensive ends Jonathon Cooper and Tyreke Smith and defensive tackles Robert Landers and Taron Vincent are listed as unavailable for the Buckeyes' in-state showdown with Miami (Ohio) this weekend, the program announced on Friday morning in its weekly status report. Wide receiver C.J. Saunders also will miss the game, and cornerback Cameron Brown will be a game-time decision. 

Jahsen Wint, the backup bullet, and freshman tight end Cormontae Hamilton are available after missing last week's game. Kamryn Babb and Ronnie Hickman remain unavailable for Saturday's game as they continue their long-term recoveries from injuries.

Ohio State does not disclose how long any of these players will remain out or explain what is causing them to miss Saturday's game.

Ohio State Status Report for Miami (Ohio)
CB Cameron Brown
WR Kamryn Babb
DE Jonathon Cooper
S Ronnie Hickman
DE Tyreke Smith
DT Robert Landers
H-B C.J. Saunders
DT Taron Vincent
DT Noah Donald (walk-on)

Cooper, who would start opposite Chase Young on the edge, will miss his fourth game in a row to open the season. He has reportedly been dealing with a high-ankle sprain, though he was seen coming off the practice field wearing shoulder pads and carrying a helmet last week, signaling he could return to action in the near future.

Smith did not play in the second half of last week's win against Indiana after suffering an undisclosed injury. Ryan Day confirmed Thursday that he has not re-aggravated his groin injury after having surgery to correct a lingering issue in the offseason, but did not specify what Smith's new injury.

"(Smith is) a big part of it. He's part of that depth," Day said when asked about the defensive line on Thursday. "The good thing is that Larry (Johnson has) recruited well and we've got some good depth in case he wasn't ready to go."

With Cooper and Smith both out, either Tyler Friday or Zach Harrison will step in as the starting defensive end across from Young.

Landers, who has battled nagging injuries throughout his college career, played in the first three games this season. The Dayton native has four tackles, including half a tackle for a loss. With Landers out, Davon Hamilton and Tommy Togiai will take the majority of the meaningful snaps at nose tackle on Saturday.

Both Vincent and Saunders have missed the first three games of the season and remain out. Vincent showed up to the second game wearing a sizable cast on his arm, and Saunders has had a sleeve on his knee.

Brown hasn't appeared on any prior status report and played 12 snaps against Indiana last weekend. If the backup cornerback is deemed unavailable to play on Saturday, opportunities for Sevyn Banks, Tyreke Johnson and Marcus Williamson could increase, especially in the second half of a game that could be a blowout.

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