Ohio State’s depleted band of running backs could gain a key reinforcement this week.
Coach Urban Meyer said today “there’s a chance” Jordan Hall will play Saturday against California after the senior back was medically cleared over the weekend. The Buckeyes’ projected starter spent 10 weeks recovering from a torn tendon in his foot.
"There is a chance that Jordan could play this week," running backs coach Stan Drayton said. "It’s a day-by-day thing."
More certain is the status of Carlos Hyde, who was ruled out after suffering a strained MCL in OSU’s win Saturday over Central Florida. If Hall is limited or can’t play, the Buckeyes will rely on their backup, backup backs to relieve the rushing burden of quarterback Braxton Miller -- and neither has yet to inspire much confidence. Freshman Bri’onte Dunn, the listed starter, has 12 career carries while sophomore backup Rod Smith lost a fumble on one of his three touches against Central Florida.
Also Monday, Meyer said he hopes defensive end Nathan Williams returns against Cal. The senior, who is recovering from microfracture knee surgery, missed the UCF game after reporting soreness from playing 30 snaps in the opener.
"From everything I hear, he's actually on schedule, you know, so it just takes time," Meyer said. "I'm hoping we have him for this week but I think for the next 10 weeks, it's going to be, 'How is Nathan Williams doing?' It's going to be probably the same response."