His ability to cover receivers, stop the run and blitz from the slot has given the coaching staff multiple options for attacking opposing offenses.
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His absence would be magnified against a Michigan team that has one of the deepest receiving corps in the nation.
Wade’s backup is Amir Riep, a junior safety from Cincinnati Colerain who has been one of the team’s top special teams players since arriving in Columbus.
On the bright side, the absence of Justin Fields from the injury report allows fans to exhale.
Fields, a sophomore who is third in the nation in points responsible for (258) and fourth in passing efficiency, had an injury scare near the end of Ohio State's win over Penn State last Saturday.
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He went down hard on a sack and remained on the turf for a few minutes before leaving under his own power.
Asked about Fields on Saturday, coach Ryan Day said Tuesday, “We expect him to be fine,” but did not elaborate.