With third-string sophomore Evan Pryor out for the season and co-starters TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams having already missed time with various bumps and bruises, Ohio State’s depth at running back took another hit this week.
Walk-on TC Caffey, the fifth-stringer who made waves in garbage time against Toledo with a 49-yard touchdown rumble that included several broken tackles, is out for the season with an undisclosed injury, per Ohio State head coach Ryan Day. The setback has prompted the team to work linebacker Chip Trayanum, who played running back at Arizona State prior to his transfer to Columbus, into its rotation of ball carriers.
“We felt like we needed to provide more depth at that position and Chip, really, had come to us a couple of weeks ago and just said, ‘If you need anything on offense, I’m here for you,’” Day said. “Which is just the way he is. He’s an unbelievable person and has a great attitude. So we just felt like the time was right.”
There were a number of other injury updates to be had from Tuesday’s press conference, both on the offensive and defensive sides of the football.
Third-year wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who played limited snaps in the first half against Iowa to see his first action since the Toledo game, appeared to hobble off the sideline as the team took him out of the contest.
Day said the medical training staff wasn’t evaluating him for anything new to go with his hamstring injury, and the Texas native should see the field again against Penn State. He’s uncertain if Smith-Njigba will be on a pitch count again.
“We’ll see. As the week goes on, we’ll know more,” Day said. “When you come out of games like that, you’ve got to keep evaluating and see how things go. But we’ll keep figuring more stuff out and by the end of the week we’ll have a better idea.”
Meanwhile, graduate cornerback Cameron Brown, who missed his third game of the season against Iowa, is expected to be back “soon” per Day. With decreasing restrictions on second-year cornerback Jordan Hancock, Ohio State’s health at the corner position is starting to improve.
“He’s been dying to get back on the field, and there were ups and downs during those nine weeks where he was coming back,” Day said. “Especially the last couple of weeks, (he was) really diving in and making sacrifices and really focusing on being healthy to get back out there. But Jordan Hancock loves playing football, and you can see it in his play.”
Also in the secondary, Day stated that fifth-year safety Josh Proctor didn’t participate against the Hawkeyes due to an illness and will be back practicing this week in preparation for Penn State.
Lastly, graduate long snapper Bradley Robinson left the contest against Iowa with what appeared to be a serious knee injury, and Day said they won’t know until later in the week what the extent of the ailment is. Second-year Mason Arnold took his place Saturday.