Ohio State anticipates having one of its major contributors back on defense next weekend.
Ryan Day said cornerback Shaun Wade is expected to play in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin. The junior sat out of Saturday's 56-27 win against Michigan with an undisclosed injury despite going through all of his pregame warmups. He had been listed as a game-time decision.
"We just determined that he wasn't quite ready," Day said Sunday on a teleconference. "We wanted to be smart with that, and I think we made the right decision. We'll just keep letting him heal up, and he should be ready to roll for this week."
Damon Arnette started opposite Jeff Okudah at cornerback on Saturday but also left the game with an apparent injury in the second half. When asked about Arnette's status for the conference title game, Day said Ohio State will “see as the week goes on.”
Without Wade for the entire Michigan game and Arnette for a portion of the second half, the Buckeyes turned to a group of younger, less experienced cornerbacks, which included Cameron Brown, Sevyn Banks and Amir Riep. In the second half, Riep stood out in the eyes of Day.
"I think that certainly (Wade's) absence was felt," Day said on Sunday. "But I thought especially late in the game, Amir Riep stepped up and made a huge interception, got a huge 4th-down-and-3 breakup. And so while the chemistry was a little bit different at times, I thought he stepped up and played really, really well."
Due to the injuries of Arnette and Wade, Ohio State has had its trio of starting cornerbacks healthy for only one of the past three games. Arnette missed the blowout of Rutgers and Wade sat out the game versus Michigan on Saturday.