Fourteen Buckeyes will sit out Saturday's Week 5 matchup with Rutgers, including starting wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and cornerback Cameron Brown, while TreVeyon Henderson is listed as a game-time decision.
|OHIO STATE STATUS REPORT FOR RUTGERS|
WR JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA
CB CAMERON BROWN
S CAMERON MARTINEZ
RB EVAN PRYOR
DE MITCHELL MELTON
CB JORDAN HANCOCK
WR KAMRYN BABB
DE OMARI ABOR
LB TERADJA MITCHELL
TE JOE ROYER
S JANTZEN DUNN
DE TYLER FRIDAY
LB PALAIE GAOTEOTE
CB LLOYD MCFARQUHAR
Emeka Egbuka was a late addition to the availability report and was listed as a game-time decision, but ultimately suited up for the Buckeyes. Henderson's health status was another last-minute update, and Miyan Williams started the game at running back in Henderson's stead.
Smith-Njigba will miss his third game out of the past four after suffering a hamstring injury in the season opener and having another setback thereafter. The Buckeyes’ leading receiver in 2021 played 23 snaps against Toledo in Week 3, but has now been unavailable the last two weeks and has just four catches for 36 yards on the season.
Brown will spend his second straight game on the bench after leaving the Toledo contest a couple of weeks ago with an apparent injury in the first half. Brown started the first three games of the season for the Buckeyes at cornerback, and with Denzel Burke (hand) also out last week, freshmen JK Johnson and Jyaire Brown stepped up to make their first career starts against Wisconsin.
But Burke will be available against Rutgers, which will give the Buckeyes more depth at cornerback in their second Big Ten matchup. Jordan Hancock will be unavailable once again, however, as the second-year cornerback continues to battle back from a significant preseason injury.
Another important Buckeye who should be back in action is third-year safety Lathan Ransom, who didn't play against Wisconsin due to an undisclosed injury, but did not appear on the status report ahead of Rutgers. Ryan Day said Thursday the team expected to have Ransom back on the field.
Ohio State will also be without Cameron Martinez, Palaie Gaoteote and Tyler Friday for the first time this season, and Buckeye captain Kamryn Babb is still unavailable due to a preseason knee injury.