COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson is expected to be back in the lineup for the Buckeyes’ game at Purdue, coach Ryan Day said Tuesday.
However, another key starter, receiver Emeka Egbuka, remains questionable for Saturday’s game in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Henderson, a third-year running back and NFL prospect, was protectively held out of last week’s win over Maryland, although he likely could have played, Day said. Henderson missed five games last season because of a broken bone in his left foot that required surgery.
The No. 3 Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) have struggled to establish the run game behind three new starters on the offensive line. They are averaging just 131.6 yards per game on the ground, ninth in the Big Ten.
Henderson’s return should provide a boost for an offense still trying to consistently create space for ball-carriers.
Chip Trayanum was the main back in Henderson’s absence against Maryland. He got the ball 20 times for 61 yards, an average of 3.1 per carry.
Henderson has 295 rushing yards in four games, an average of 6.7 per carry, and two touchdowns.
Egbuka left the Maryland game with an apparent knee injury in the fourth quarter Saturday and didn’t return. The injury isn’t expected to keep Egbuka sidelined for a long stretch, Day said Tuesday.
“One thing I can tell you is that’s it’s not going to be a long-term issue,” Day said. “We’ll probably have a better idea how he’s doing later in the week.”
Egbuka, a 1,000-yard receiver last year, has 22 catches for 303 yards and three touchdowns. Marvin Harrison Jr. is Ohio State’s leading receiver with 25 catches for 499 yards and four TDs.
Ohio State plays Purdue (2-4, 1-2) Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium before returning home on Oct. 21 to face No. 6 Penn State.
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