Buckeye fans were not treated to good news this morning, as the Ohio State coaching staff relayed that multiple key contributors on defense are banged up, or may otherwise potentially have their availability limited.
Fickell said MLB Curtis Grant is still dealing with ankle and back issues. Said back "really limits him."— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) December 30, 2013
Ohio State's leading pass defender is also banged up:
Luke Fickell said CB Bradley Roby is still rehabbing from knee injury and is day-to-day.— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) December 30, 2013
If Roby is unable to play, Fickell elaborated on who might potentially take his place, which probably isn't going to excite any Buckeye fans.
Fickell said Armani Reeves would step in for Roby if he can't go. Tyvis Powell will move to safety from nickel spot (where Bell will play).— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) December 30, 2013
We also know that Noah Spence has not made the trip to Miami. If he doesn't play, here who is who might be taking his place:
Jamal Marcus and Steve Miller will be counted on to replace Noah Spence if he never makes it to Miami.— Ryan Ginn (@RyanGinnBSB) December 30, 2013
Just where is Noah Spence anyway? Is he going to play?
"There’s always hope. Obviously he’s dealing with some things." - Luke Fickell on Noah Spence’s availability for the Orange Bowl— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) December 30, 2013
So...that doesn't sound great.
There is however, some good news, as the team confirmed that a new face will see more time on defense.
"Vonn right now is listed as our nickel" - Ohio State’s Luke Fickell confirming that Vonn Bell will start in the Orange Bowl.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) December 30, 2013
Hopefully the aforementioned players are able to get healthy and/or available. With this unit already facing some question marks, losing three key contributors means Ohio State might have to score 50 if they want to win the game.