Monday night's worst-case scenario has come to fruition.
After reinjuring his surgically repaired shoulder during practice Monday afternoon, Ohio State's Braxton Miller, the defending two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, has been shut down for the 2014 season, as first reported by ESPN's Brett McMurphy. Miller had an MRI Tuesday morning, and according to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel, the scan confirmed OSU partisans' fears, with a re-torn labrum in his throwing shoulder too much to allow him to suit up this fall.
Miller missed this past spring's practices after what was dubbed at the time "a routine, outpatient procedure" to repair a torn labrum suffered in last year's Orange Bowl. Though he was back throwing this fall camp, Miller's first team reps had by and large gone to redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett and redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones.
Even before reaggravating the injury, as recently as yesterday, OSU media and backers alike began to second guess some of the phrasing coming from the football brain trust regarding Miller's recovery and began to speculate as to the possibility of him missing some or all of OSU's first several contests.
Though Jones was said by Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer to have won the backup quarterback job over the spring, Meyer pivoted this past weekend, saying Barrett was now the No. 2 quarterback and thus the heir apparent for Ohio State's starting quarterback role. Barrett himself missed all of 2013 after suffering an ACL tear while still in high school.
Braxton Miller returned to Ohio State this past offseason after being given a mid-round grade by the NFL Draft advisory committee. One school of thought would say Miller would be foolish to risk another major injury and should take his chances, wherever those may fall, with going pro now. Another would suggest that Miller's latest injury would only further deflate his stock and potentially lead to a scenario in which he's not even drafted.