There is good news and bad news on Ohio State’s availability report for the Buckeyes’ game at Northwestern on Saturday (noon ET; ABC). The good news is third-year running back Miyan Williams is not listed on the report, indicating he will play against the Wildcats. Williams suffered an injury to his left hand at Penn State last week when he got tackled near the sideline and got caught up in the chains of the yard marker. Williams did not return against the Nittany Lions and there was some concern it might be a long-term ailment. Head coach Ryan Day quelled those worries on Tuesday when he said Williams injury was “not serious.”
Williams was seen coming off OSU’s practice field in full pads on Wednesday and with his left hand in a wrap. He might have to continue wearing the wrap for a while, but it’s obviously good news he is available for Ohio State today.
The bad news is that sophomore TreVeyon Henderson is listed as unavailable. Henderson has been dealing with nagging injuries for most of the season, but it’s unclear why he will not be able to play. Ohio State does not specify why a player is listed on the availability report; they simply say whether a player is unavailable or is a game-time decision.
More bad news is that fifth-year senior cornerback Cameron Brown is still out with an injury. Brown is a talented player who has struggled to stay healthy during his OSU career.
In the “we already knew that” category, junior wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba is not available for the Buckeyes against Northwestern. Smith-Njigba’s father told the Columbus Dispatch earlier this week that the earliest his son would return would be Nov. 26 for the game against visiting Michigan.
Here is the full availability report for Ohio State against Northwestern:
WR Kamryn Babb
RB T.C. Caffey
CB Lloyd McFarquhar
LB Jalen Pace
RB Evan Pryor
LS Brad Robinson
RB Cayden Saunders
What this means for Ohio State
It is odd that all week we wondered about Williams’ status, and it’s Henderson who won’t suit up today. At least the Buckeyes have Williams available for this game, but hopefully they will have this game in hand by halftime and we won’t see No. 3 in the second half. I’m looking for a healthy dose of Dallan Hayden and Chip Trayanum in the second half, and frankly for chunks of the first half as well. The Buckeyes are also without both of their top walk-on RBs – Caffey and Saunders – which means even more opportunities for Hayden and Trayanum, even if the game is out of reach.
Hopefully whatever Henderson is dealing with is relatively minor, but it’s certainly a concern he cannot seem to stay healthy. Then again, that’s life at the running back position.