Sunday, August 31, 2008

Injuries Sideline Key Players

An eerie silence descended on Ohio Stadium when Ohio State's Heisman Trophy prospect Chris "Beanie" Wells went down with a foot injury in the third quarter of the second-ranked Buckeyes' 43-0 victory over Youngstown State on Saturday. "First and foremost, you really can't replace Beanie," wide receiver Brian Robiskie said. The star tailback was hurt in the third quarter after taking a handoff from Todd Boeckman on first and goal at the Youngstown State 2. His feet slipped underneath him as he planted to make a cut, with the ball rolling free as he hit the turf. Wells was helped off the field, and later returned to the bench in the fourth quarter wearing a boot on his right foot. "I may have rolled it or planted wrong a play or two before," Wells said through Ohio State spokeswoman Shelly Poe. "Something just didn't feel right. Then I think I felt a pop. But the X-rays are OK, so we'll see how it feels in a day or two." Before the injury, Wells ran for 111 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown run. Boeckman tossed two touchdown passes and freshman quarterback phenom Terrelle Pryor looked solid in his college debut.

Georgia suffered a potentially serious injury, losing starting defensive tackle Jeff Owens to a right knee injury in the opening quarter. He did not return. Owens' status will be determined by tests, including an MRI, but Richt said it could be a season-ending. "I doubt he'll be playing anytime soon," Richt said. "It was sad and I went in there and saw him at halftime." Owens has not had a redshirt season, so he could return in 2009 if he has to miss the rest of the year. "He'll probably be stronger next year and he'll be in better condition if in fact he has to go through that type of rehab," Richt said. Owens, a senior, started all 13 games last season and had 27 tackles. The loss of Owens cut into Georgia's depth on its defensive front. Backup Kade Weston was held out of the game with a sprained knee.


Jeremy Maclin, who finished with 234 all-purpose yards, lost his balance while running a pattern away from the play. He covered his face with a towel while being carted off the field from the Missouri sideline. He returned to the sidelines on crutches and still in uniform, his foot wrapped in ice, but the team said X-rays showed no damage. "It's a scary moment when an impact player like that goes down," said quarterback Chase Daniel, 26-for-45 for 323 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. "He'll be out practicing Tuesday. He's fine." Maclin had a 99-yard kickoff return and 45-yard punt return before leaving in the fourth quarter with a sprained left ankle in No. 6 Missouri's 52-42 victory over No. 20 Illinois on Saturday night.

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media