COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State was already inexperienced at safety following the departures of two-year starters Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell for the NFL.
The Buckeyes took another hit Wednesday when head coach Urban Meyer announced junior safety Cam Burrows will miss the 2016 season after reinjuring his foot. He was previously forced to redshirt in 2015 after hurting his foot four games into the season.
“He’s going to work in our strength room, and it looks like he won’t play football,” Meyer said. “It’s a tough go for him. He’s an awesome guy. He’s a guy who’s a leader on this team, excellent student, great family.
“I don’t think he’s going to play this season.”
Although the injury is something that developed over time instead of in a freak accident at practice, it was still devastating to the Ohio State coaching staff when the realization hit that they’d be without Burrows this season.
“It’s crushing,” defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said. “Guys that give their heart and soul for this, the reality is it’s going to happen. It’s a part of the game. It doesn’t make it any easier. Whether the game ends now or the game ends in two years or the game ends in six years, at some point in time the game’s going to end. We all have high aspirations and expectations, and a lot of us have been there, whether you’re a coach now or you were a player before, and that’s one of the things you try to tell him. God’s got a plan. You’ve got to handle these things in the best way possible.”
Burrows was not expected to start this year because junior Damon Webb and sophomore Malik Hooker had been seen taking first-team reps in practice, although he was still expected to be a contributor. His absence is a blow to the depth of that position group. On this week’s depth chart, true freshman Jordan Fuller and junior Erick Smith were listed as the backups.
None of those four players have started a game in their Ohio State careers.