Injured cornerback Arnette might miss game

Bill Rabinowitz
brabinow@dispatch.com
Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette bats away a pass intended Indiana's Donavan Hale on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. [Eric Albrecht/Dispatch]

Damon Arnette hasn’t been ruled out of Saturday’s game against Purdue, but the cornerback’s chances of playing aren’t looking promising.

On Monday, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer termed him questionable. After practice Tuesday, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano appeared more pessimistic. Arnette left Saturday’s game against Minnesota with an undisclosed injury.

“I’m not sure what his status is going to be,” Schiano said. “He’s kind of up in the air.”

Arnette’s absence would be a major blow. He’s the most experienced Buckeye cornerback, and Purdue figures to pose a stern test with its prolific passing game.

“He’s a good player,” Meyer said on the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday. “Obviously, you’re facing a team that throws it as well as Purdue, he’s a key guy.”

Kendall Sheffield and Jeffrey Okudah probably would start. Shaun Wade, a natural cornerback who has also played safety this year, would be another option to join the three-man rotation.

“We’re getting thinned out a little bit back there (in the secondary), and we weren’t overly experienced to start with,” Schiano said. “And they are going to throw the ball. That’s for sure.”

The injury news is better on the non-Arnette (and non-Nick Bosa) front. After missing last week’s game, linebacker Malik Harrison and defensive end Jonathon Cooper are back. Defensive tackle Robert Landers, who didn’t play in the second half and has battled a knee injury, also has returned.

“They practiced today,” Schiano said. “When you get your starters back, it’s always a big lift. Hopefully, everybody can be healthy come Saturday.”

The 'other' TD catch

a tough one, too

K.J. Hill’s one-handed touchdown catch against Minnesota got all the attention, but the receiver said his second score of the game wasn’t easy, either. He split a pair of defenders and then had to make an over-the-shoulder catch for a 27-yard touchdown with just over 2 minutes left.

“It looked regular on TV, but that was a hard catch,” Hill said Tuesday. “It’s coming over your head and you lose the ball, but I just trusted my hands to make the play.”

Buckeyes add

preferred walk-on

Ohio State got a commitment from a preferred walk-on offensive linemen on Tuesday, but he was already a Buckeye.

Ryan Smith, an offensive tackle from Buckeye High School near Medina, announced on Twitter that he had accepted Ohio State’s offer. Smith, who’s 6-3 and 270 pounds, has added 120 pounds since his freshman year.

“I understand what it means to be a walk-on,” Smith said. “Honestly, I’m not sure I want it any other way. I like to earn what I have. LeBron said that in his letter to Cleveland when he came back — Everything is earned; nothing is given.”

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

@brdispatch

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