The Buckeyes will be shorthanded at wide receiver and cornerback in their Big Ten opener.
Star wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba and starting corners Cameron Brown and Denzel Burke have all been ruled out of Saturday's 7:30 p.m. matchup with Wisconsin, as 11 total Ohio State players will be unavailable against the Badgers.
|OHIO STATE STATUS REPORT FOR WISCONSIN|
WR JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA
CB DENZEL BURKE
CB CAMERON BROWN
RB EVAN PRYOR
DE MITCHELL MELTON
CB JORDAN HANCOCK
WR KAMRYN BABB
DE OMARI ABOR
LB TERADJA MITCHELL
TE JOE ROYER
DL ZACH PRATER
A hamstring injury suffered against Notre Dame limited Smith-Njigba to just 15 snaps in the season opener, and the junior didn't play at all in Ohio State's Week 2 meeting with Arkansas State. Smith-Njigba returned against Toledo, but caught just two passes and didn't play at all in the second half.
Ryan Day was hopeful this week that Smith-Njigba would be full-go against the Badgers, but Ohio State's 2021 receiving leader won't suit up after all.
Burke went through early warmups with a cast on his right hand, but did not come out in uniform for Ohio State's final warmups. Burke wasn't originally listed as unavailable, nor was he a game-time decision when the Buckeyes announced their status report at 5 p.m.
Denzel Burke has a cast on his hand: pic.twitter.com/L6q5dGicCB— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) September 24, 2022
Brown, who started each of the first three games of the season for Ohio State, played just 17 snaps against Toledo before heading to the locker room with an apparent injury in the first half.
The Buckeyes will also be without second-year corner Jordan Hancock, who has yet to log a defensive snap this season after suffering a preseason injury that Day has called "significant." Their injuries leave Ohio State with just three available scholarship cornerbacks: JK Johnson, Jyaire Brown and Ryan Turner.
On the bright side for the Buckeyes, several players who either didn't play last week or left with injury appear to be available against Wisconsin. That list includes starting defenders Josh Proctor, Tanner McCalister and Mike Hall Jr. as well as starting running back TreVeyon Henderson, who left the Toledo game in a walking boot after suffering an injury on Ohio State's opening drive.
Also among the notable absences for Ohio State are Kamryn Babb, Teradja Mitchell and Joe Royer, who were all out against Toledo. Babb, a Buckeye captain, has yet to play this season after suffering a preseason knee injury.