Urban Meyer has said often that he wishes there were more than two Bosa brothers.
Joey was an All-American for Ohio State and is now a standout with the Los Angeles Chargers, though he’s out because of an injury.
>> Read more: Ohio State football: Nick Bosa will not play against Tulane
Nick was in the middle of doing the nearly impossible — being more dominating in college than his brother was. Bosa already had six tackles for loss, including four sacks, in three games, and he played only a little more than a half in each of them.
Now Nick Bosa will be out for an extensive period after having what Ohio State and Meyer described as “core muscle” surgery Thursday. He was injured early in the third quarter against TCU on Saturday.
“I just talked to his father 20 minutes ago,” Meyer said during his radio show Thursday. “We hope to get him back as soon as possible. Obviously, one of the best players in football and even a better person and (from) an incredible family."
Though the Buckeyes have a deep defensive line, Bosa’s loss is a major one.
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“When people talk about explosive players, they usually talk about offensive players,” former coach and current Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo said. “Losing Nick Bosa is losing the rare explosive defensive player.”
Bosa is a relentless pass rusher but also can be devastating against the run.
“A player like Nick Bosa always brings up the discussion in an opponent’s offensive staff meeting: ‘Do we run at him or away from him?’” DiNardo said. “Either way you decide the conversation, it only begins that way against the great players.”
Budding star Chase Young will almost certainly get the nod to start this week in Bosa’s place, with Jonathon Cooper on the other side. But others will have to emerge.
On his radio show, Meyer mentioned Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday as freshmen who could see more playing time. Defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones also could slide to end.
“Next man up and keep moving forward,” defensive line coach Larry Johnson texted The Dispatch. “Everyone will have to give more, and they will.”
Two local doctors said that predicting a timetable for Bosa’s return is difficult. Core muscle injuries are similar to sports hernia ones, and there is some overlap, said Dr. John Leff, chair of general surgery at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.
“With a sports hernia, you develop what I call compensatory injuries because your body is trying to adapt to this issue with your groin,” Leff said. “There’s a tendency to tear either the rectus abdominis or the adductor longus.”
Leff said he suspects that Bosa’s injury involved the rectus abdominis, commonly referred to as the “abs” muscle group. The recovery period varies depending on whether Bosa suffered a complete tear.
“If it’s an incomplete tear, he could be back playing in six weeks,” said Leff, who said he has performed about 400-500 similar surgeries. “If it’s a complete tear, I usually rest those people three months.”
Dr. Rod Comisar, a local orthopedic surgeon, said the recovery time will depend largely on whether the tendon had to be reattached to the bone.
“If you truly have a tendon, it’s six to eight weeks to heal and then additional recovery time beyond that,” he said. “You’re talking months. Hopefully, it’s not that extensive.”
Neither doctor is involved in Bosa’s case, and each stressed that he is merely speculating based on similar situations.
Leff was guardedly optimistic about Bosa’s return.
“I suspect we’ll see him back this season,” he said. “The problem is, you don’t always have your explosiveness right away, which is his thing.”
Both doctors said that a full recovery is likely as long as rehab is followed diligently.