Monday in Columbus, Ohio, began with Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller reassuring the public his surgically repaired shoulder is fine and he would be ready to go for the season opener.
It ended with an incident that could change the race for the Heisman and the Big Ten, as well as alter the national landscape in the first season of the College Football Playoff.
Multiple sources told FOX Sports that Miller, a two-time Big Ten MVP, reinjured his shoulder at Monday afternoon’s practice, and that Miller is scheduled to have an MRI exam Tuesday to determine the extent of his injury for what the source deemed as "trauma to the shoulder."
The Columbus Dispatch’s Tim May, the first to report the injury, cited sources in saying that the team fears the injury could put Miller’s playing status for the coming season in jeopardy.
Miller does have a redshirt season remaining if the injury is as bad as some fear.
Miller underwent what was widely described as a "minor" shoulder surgery in February. Despite recent questions about Miller’s status due to a seemingly slow recovery, both Miller and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said Miller was "ready to go" nearly a month ago at Big Ten media days.
"Setback" and "soreness" were a couple of words offensive coordinator Tom Herman used to describe Miller’s shoulder Monday before the reported injury. In perhaps a bit of a premonition, Herman also told reporters that Monday’s afternoon practice would be a big test for Miller’s shoulder. "We’ll know a lot more after this afternoon’s practice in terms of how the arm’s feeling," he said.
Despite only participating in "limited throws," Meyer said as recently as Saturday that Miller "would be ready" for the season.
As for Miller’s view on the shoulder before the reported injury:
Braxton Miller's message to Ohio State fans: "You know I'm fine, it's just progression in my shoulder and it's precaution."
The Buckeyes are coming off a 12-2 season during which they finished 12th in the AP Poll and 10th in the coaches’ poll. They are fifth in the AP preseason poll and sixth in the coaches’ poll. Miller missed two games and most of a third last season with a sprained MCL in his left knee suffered in Ohio State’s second game of the season against San Diego State. Fifth-year senior Kenny Guiton started in Miller’s absence.
In his career, Miller has thrown 52 TDs and just 17 interceptions and he has improved as a passer significantly in each of his three seasons in Columbus. In 2013, his completion percentage went up to 64 percent after connecting on 58 percent in 2012. He also has run for 32 TDs in his career at OSU.