Linebacker Cody Simon remains among several Ohio State football defenders absent from Rose Bowl practice

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Cody Simon (30) and Ohio State Buckeyes safety Ronnie Hickman (14) pressure Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Noah Vedral (0) during the first quarter of a NCAA Division I football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey.

CARSON, Calif. — Multiple starters from Ohio State’s defense were not at practice for the second consecutive day.

Linebacker Cody Simon, along with cornerbacks Sevyn Banks and Marcus Williamson, were not seen practicing at Dignity Sports Health Park on Wednesday during a 15-minute viewing period for reporters, continuing to raise questions about their status for the Rose Bowl game against Utah on Saturday.

The potential absence of Simon could be the most significant for the Buckeyes as the sophomore has been starting at middle linebacker and is second on the team with 54 tackles.

For most of this season, he has dealt with a shoulder injury and worn a protective brace on his right shoulder. It prompted him to leave a 56-7 rout of Michigan State on Nov. 20 in the first quarter, though he returned the following week at Michigan.

Tommy Eichenberg has been seeing reps at linebacker in place of Simon, paired alongside Steele Chambers.

Banks started over the midpoint of the season, but missed the final two weeks of the regular season with an undisclosed injury. Cameron Brown, a fourth-year junior, has been starting without him available. Williamson has been the starting slot corner.

In other notable absences, defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson was not spotted, potentially further impacting the Buckeyes’ interior depth.

Defensive tackle Haskell Garrett previously opted out of the New Year’s Day bowl game. 

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

Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts