Ohio State football left guard Thayer Munford to return for Saturday's game at Rutgers

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Ohio State’s offensive line should be at full strength at Rutgers on Saturday afternoon.

After missing last week’s game against Akron due to an injury, starting left guard Thayer Munford is set to return against the Scarlet Knights. He was not among the 13 players on the team’s pregame unavailable list.

Munford is the Buckeyes’ most veteran starter, having spent the past three seasons at left tackle before moving to the interior for this season.

He was hurt against Tulsa on Sept. 18, appearing to injure either his leg or ankle. After he went down in the first quarter, trainers assisted him off the field, and he was unable to put much weight on his right leg. He was eventually carted off to the locker room at Ohio Stadium. Matt Jones, a fourth-year junior, stepped in place of Munford.

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Thayer Munford (75) is taken off the field after an injury in the first quarter during a NCAA Division I football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Coach Ryan Day did not provide details about Munford’s injury, telling reporters only that it was not “long-term."

The presence of Munford should help in the trenches against Rutgers, which is ranked 11th in total defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Center Harry Miller is also available after missing the first four games. Day said he will be eased back into lineup.

Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Taron Vincent return for Ohio State defense

A pair of key defensive linemen in defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste and defensive tackle Taron Vincent are to be available after being sidelined last Saturday, though defensive end Tyreke Smith remains out.

Starting cornerback Cameron Brown is also to be back after his one-game absence. 

The most high-profile return this week remains quarterback C.J. Stroud, who sat out against Akron to rest his sore right throwing shoulder.

Day previously indicated on Thursday that Stroud would be healthy enough to start at Rutgers after he looked comfortable in practices this week.

Miyan Williams, who started the first two games at running back before true freshman TreVeyon Henderson took hold of the starting spot, is unavailable.

Williams saw nine carries for 47 yards last week, but did not carry the ball against Tulsa after he missed a practice in the leadup to the game because of an illness.

Other additions to the unavailable list include defensive tackle Mike Hall, defensive tackle Darrion Henry-Young, cornerback Jakailin Johnson and placekicker Jake Seibert. Wide receiver Julian Fleming remains out for the second consecutive week.

Reserve linebacker Palaie Gaoteote is also a game-time decision.

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Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.