Sources: Ohio State QB Miller reinjures shoulder; MRI Tuesday
Aug 18, 2014 at 2:15p ET
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.
Stunning news for the No.5 Buckeyes, but likely means J.T. Barrett will be the season opening starter.— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) August 19, 2014
Ohio State team spokesman has yet to confirm the news on Braxton Miller reinjuring shoulder.— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) August 19, 2014
As the day progressed, additional reports on the injury surfaced, though the severity remains unknown.
Braxton Miller was scheduled for an MRI on Tues morning, unless Ohio State pushed it up as news grew, according to a source.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) August 19, 2014
Braxton was throwing a basic out route in a non-contact drill, grabbed his arm/shoulder area, said he felt something, they took him off— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) August 19, 2014
After practice, Miller had ice on his shoulder and was smiling, in good spirits.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) August 19, 2014
Source I talked to said team didn't know if he'd be out a day or a month or what. All depends on what comes back.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) August 19, 2014
Former Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde, a rookie with the 49ers, tweeted his thoughts to Miller after hearing the news.
Indeed, should Miller be sidelined, it appears Barrett — a freshman — has pulled ahead for the Buckeyes' backup quarterback spot and will handle the play-calling duties when Ohio State opens the season against Navy on Aug. 30 in Baltimore.
Tom Herman had a very good explanation for why J.T. Barrett is now the backup QB: "The offense moves better when he's in the game."— Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) August 18, 2014
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."— Patrick Maks (@maksimuspatrick) August 18, 2014
"I know this was gonna happen." -Braxton Miller on shoulder soreness. Maintains he's 100 percent— Patrick Maks (@maksimuspatrick) August 18, 2014
While questions swirl around the health of his shoulder, Braxton Miller, expectedly, says he's 100 percent. http://t.co/MnboYMfxYP— Patrick Maks (@maksimuspatrick) August 18, 2014
Braxton didn't seem to worried, either, saying "of course" he would play if the Navy game was today. Which it is not.— Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) August 18, 2014
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.