What could have been one of the toughest stories of the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine might turn out to be a footnote.
Friday morning Ohio State center Billy Price confirmed reports he tore a pec muscle during the bench press a day earlier, but the rest of the news was much better than expected.
“I got the MRI results this morning — it was officially an incomplete pectoral tear with no grade, no issues like that. Something very minor. Looking at the MRI results, they saw a little bit of an issue, nothing that will force me to miss time at all.”
He expects to be fine by the start of training camp in July, but surgery has not been completely ruled out.
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He said if he does end up having surgery, the recovery would be four months. That would mean he would miss at least parts of his new team’s offseason program.
Although he wasn’t able to work out at the Combine, he said he met with 19 teams officially or unofficially and wanted to hang around long enough to meet with the media.
“Everybody’s making a headline out of it right now, but things happen,” he said. “It’s football. You’re playing a very dangerous game. You’re training at a very high level and everything you’re putting your body through to be at your best at the combine and compete with your peers and the best centers and guards in the draft.”
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By Friday morning, Price seemed to be in a pretty good mood, but he admitted to going through an emotional period.
“You get kind of frantic at first to understand, ‘Hey your career is kind of in jeopardy right now.’ Everything I’ve worked for since I was playing for the West Catholic Crusaders in sixth grade could be done. So I was a little emotional. I got in the van heading over and I was a little hard on myself to say the least, but once you get in the MRI you realize this is something you couldn’t control. You’ve got to then react to it, get better and go forward 100 percent.”
Price was one of the faces of the Ohio State football team since becoming a starter at guard as a redshirt freshman in 2014 when the Buckeyes won the national championship.
He moved to center last year and won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best player at that position.
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock ranks Price the No. 5 interior line prospect in this draft prior to the Combine and said he expected him to be picked in the first or second round of the draft in April.