Last week the concern over Braxton Miller’s shoulder was when, not if, he’d get back to a regular throwing regime and get going for the season opener. However, that appears to be on the back burner, as a new report indicates Miller’s season may be in jeopardy.
Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch first tweeted out the news from his sources on Monday night:
— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) August 19, 2014
Beyond the tweet, May went on to report on Dispatch.com that Miller has apparently reinjured his shoulder during practice on Monday afternoon.
Miller, who has been the face of the Buckeyes since he first came on campus as a freshman in 2010, was hoping to lead his Buckeyes to the inaugural College Football Playoff. However, this new injury appears to put Miller’s season in jeopardy, not just his ability to start the season opener.
Don’t forget, Miller decided against shoulder surgery following the Orange Bowl loss to Clemson in January. Considering how rehab has gone and now a quick reinjury after his return to full practice, one will likely always wonder about that initial decision.
Hindsight is always 20/20 in these situations, but if the reports are true this is a more devastating blow than anyone could have thought.
Losing Miller means losing the one proven playmaker the Ohio State offense had coming in to the 2014 season. Without Miller there is a lot of pressure on the run game and on offensive coordinator Tom Herman to come up with a quick backup plan.
Ohio State was already breaking in four new offensive lineman, who are in turn blocking for a running back group that features two backs with limited carries and now are facing life with a quarterback that has never taken a snap in a collegiate football game.
Add it all up and it’s a recipe for disaster for a team that most saw as not only the preseason East division favorites, but the overwhelming favorites to win the conference as well.
Just last week Meyer and Herman determined that redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett will be the man behind center when the Buckeyes take on Navy in Baltimore to open the 2014 season. Barrett had apparently taken a slight lead over redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones, according to May.
“And that’s because of his (taking advantage of his) opportunities,” Meyer said.
“Just functionality, completing passes, understanding everything, growing up a little bit,” Meyer said of areas in which Barrett has made strides. “He was always kind of a quiet guy. He’s starting to act like a quarterback.”
If Miller’s injury is as bad as the report indicates, Barrett will need to do more than just act like a quarterback.
Considering all the moving and inexperienced parts around Miller, this is perhaps the biggest blow to the chances of Ohio State winning a Big Ten title we’ve seen in any single player injury in some time.
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