With just over three weeks until the start of the season, Ohio State has two veteran defensive tackles limited with injuries, but both are showing progress.
Defensive line coach Larry Johnson said on Wednesday that Haskell Garrett and Taron Vincent are still on the road to recovery from their injuries with Garrett not yet cleared for full contact and Vincent slowly progressing with sights set on a week-one return.
Vincent was sidelined all of last season with a shoulder injury and that recovery has continued into the offseason with his progress slightly hindered by the pandemic.
"Taron, there’s a slow progress going on right now and hopefully, we’ll have him by the time we get to game week," Johnson said of Vincent. "With the injury, being out of football for a long time, then the pandemic hit, not being able to practice, so it’s a process going forward. You don’t just jump back in and be at the same level when you got here, so that’s why we’re doing a great job of kind of developing him, getting his skill set back to where he needs to be and being out of football for a year is really, really tough for anybody to be able to come back and be ready to go."
Garrett continues his recovery after being shot in the face last month. The timeline for Garrett's return is much more uncertain, Johnson said, but he continues to progress and do what he can in practice.
"We don't know yet. It was a very sensitive area that he was injured," Johnson said. "So we'll just kind of wait and see what the doctors tell us when he's ready to go. He's in practice, there's just things he cannot do. But he is in practice every day, he's really engaged, he's in great spirits. So we'll just have to wait and see."
With both Vincent and Garrett limited, the Buckeyes are left with Tommy Togiai, Jerron Cage Antwuan Jackson and Jaden McKenzie as the veterans on the interior defensive line.