Jonathon Cooper, other starters set to return for Ohio State’s game vs. Penn State

Joey Kaufman
Ohio State defensive end Jonathon Cooper (18), here chasing Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez, is expected to return for the Buckeyes’ home game against Penn State on Saturday. [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch]

Ohio State defensive end Jonathon Cooper will return with Chase Young for the Buckeyes’ football game against Penn State on Saturday.

Cooper, a senior from Gahanna who has started opposite Young before missing seven games this season following a high-ankle sprain suffered in preseason workouts, was not included on the team’s status report released Friday, meaning he should be available against the Nittany Lions.

He has not played in a game in more than a month, since starting at Northwestern on Oct. 18.

Several of the Buckeyes’ players who were unavailable last week at Rutgers were slated to return for the high-stakes matchup with Penn State, including linebacker Baron Browning and receiver Austin Mack. Browning had been one of Ohio State’s top tacklers before missing all or part of several games over the past month.

Coach Ryan Day said earlier this week that he had been “overly cautious” last week when sidelining players.

Starting cornerback Damon Arnette, who also sat out against the Scarlet Knights though he was in uniform, was also absent from the status report.

Arnette told reporters last month that he had a procedure on his wrist, but Ohio State does not disclose the nature of the players’ injuries.

The players listed as game-time decisions are top reserves, including offensive tackle Josh Alabi, defensive tackle Haskell Garrett and left guard Matthew Jones.

Backup right guard Gavin Cupp and safety Josh Proctor are listed as out.

Others unavailable included receivers C.J. Saunders, Kamryn Babb and Elijah Hardner; running back Marcus Crowley; defensive linemen Noah Donald, Taron Vincent and Brett Novick, and safety Ronnie Hickman.

Kickoff between Ohio State and Penn State is scheduled for noon and will be televised on Fox.