At some point in the Big Ten championship game, sometime during Ohio State’s 22-10 win against Northwestern to propel the team to the College Football Playoff, Josh Myers suffered a turf toe injury. While dealing with the pain, he didn’t talk publicly about it or let it slip that he was dealing with anything outside of the norm.
“I kept it very quiet during the season,” he said after the Buckeyes’ pro day wrapped up on Tuesday.
Not until this week did he reveal the extent of the injury.
Myers, who left for the NFL after his redshirt junior season, could have chosen to sit out the rest of the year to preserve his draft stock but opted to play through the pain. Too much was on the line, he evidently decided.
So, he started at center in the Sugar Bowl, helping Ohio State knock off Clemson and earn its first national championship game bid since 2014. In doing so, however, his injury ended up getting “significantly worse” as a result of playing. Once more, instead of getting sidelined, he chose to play through the pain and was on the field for all 65 offensive snaps in the title game loss to Alabama.
Shortly after the defeat, he got both an MRI and an X-ray which showed he needed to undergo surgery.
“I tore my foot up pretty good,” Myers said. “Broke the bone underneath there and had an avulsion of the tendon on another bone underneath my foot.”
Now two months removed from the surgery, Myers is in the middle of his recovery process. He has just about reached the midpoint of a four-month recovery process that began two months ago.
Therefore, he didn’t partake in any drills during Tuesday’s pro day other than the bench press, where he repped 225 times a total of 29 times. That doesn't worry him much while in the pre-draft process, though.
“It seems like, from everyone I've talked to about it, that the two years of tape is enough,” Myers said. “I think it helps that the recovery time is only four months, so I'm supposed to be 100 percent recovered with no restrictions by the end of May. I've told every team I've talked to about it. That's the first thing I say on meetings just so that they're aware. It doesn't get brought back up in hardly any of them, so it's been fine.”
His limited participation didn’t do much to alter his attitude, either.
“The mindset's that's taken into this is the same type of mindset that I would take in a game,” Myers said of pro day. “At least, that's the way I approached it, personally.”
Myers, a projected early-to-mid-round selection, will have plenty of suitors in the draft. His Ohio State career, which he ended as a first-team All-Big Ten honoree and a Rimington Trophy selection, has put him on the radar of pro teams for a while.
Those NFL teams that the analysts see as liking Myers so much got an up-close look at him on Tuesday, even though he couldn’t go through it all.
“I think today's more about the scouts and the coaches getting to see us in person, getting to see how we interact and how we carry ourselves in person in this type of scenario,” Myers said. “And then also, of course, the athleticism. Everything is being evaluated. Literally everything is being evaluated. Of course, I didn't get to do much today.”
Instead of a pro day workout this week, he’ll rely on his two years of starting center film to show NFL evaluators what he can do, and that should work out just fine for him.
Sometime between April 29 and May 1, Myers will hear his name called and begin his professional career with one of 32 franchises.