Ohio State Buckeyes: 2 starters to miss Rutgers game

Credit: Jay LaPrete

Credit: Jay LaPrete

Ohio State will be down multiple starters again when the Buckeyes play Rutgers at 3:40 on Saturday afternoon.

The school announced receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and cornerback Cam Brown will not play for a second straight week.

The Buckeyes will be somewhat thin at the latter position again this week as freshman reserve Jordan Hancock remains out, but Denzel Burke is available after missing last week’s win over Wisconsin with an apparent hand injury.

The secondary also will be without Cam Martinez, the No. 2 nickel back and an option to play cornerback if necessary.

Reserve tight end Joe Royer is also out again while reserve defensive lineman and New Jersey native Tyler Friday joins him on the list of unavailable players this week.

Also out are Omari Abor, Kamryn Babb, Jantzen Dunn, Palaie Gaoteote, Lloyd McFarquhar, Mitchell Melton, Teradja Mitchell and Evan Pryor.

Dunn, Melton and Pryor all have long-term injuries.

Smith-Njigba was expected to be one of the most-productive receivers in the country, but he suffered an apparent hamstring injury in the opener against Notre Dame and has only played in one game since.

“I don’t think we want to move forward until we all feel really good about everything, but Jaxon still has a mindset of day to day,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said Tuesday. “We’re not going to put any kind of timetable on it. He and the training staff are going to work hard.

“I know he’s frustrated, but we’re not as far away as we think and if he just has the mindset of showing up every day and getting as much treatment as he can, take care of his body, this will be behind him soon and we still got a lot of football to play.”

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