"Yeaster is done for the year," Smith said. "We operated on him yesterday; it certainly was not great, but he came out pretty good."
Yeaster suffered the injury in the Michigan game when his knee gave away after his foot got tangled up in a divot on the Spartan Stadium natural grass surface. "He was making a move, almost like he was stepping over to run down the line. The turf gave way and it caught. On film, you see a big clump giving away and then it caught and snapped him," explained Smith.
The Spartans will rely on backup Kevin Vickerson (6-5, 298-lb), also a junior to step up and play well in the absence of Yeaster. Kyle Rasmussen, a senior will backup Vickerson and junior Matthias Askew at both tackle positions.
The status of sophomore strong safety Eric Smith continues to be an issue. Smith is at best questionable for Saturday's contest at Columbus and if he cannot go sophomore Derron Ware will fill in for Smith.
"We are going to have to wait and see tomorrow to be honest," Smith said. "It's more of an A.C. joint, I guess. It seems to move around. We are going to have to wait and see tomorrow just how fit he is. We are all knocking on wood that he is back."
Smith says that a change in the depth chart could be in the offing at the "bandit" or strong side linebacker position currently occupied by Monquiz Wedlow. Smith said that junior Robert Flagg was coming on and took snaps away from the senior Wedlow in the Michigan contest.
Whether Smith is using the comments to motivate Wedlow the way they he did with junior defensive end Greg Taplin remains to be seen, but Flagg was on the field quite a bit vs. Michigan.
Smith also said that the Spartans are getting dangerously close to point of no return with regard to injuries. "We just can't afford to lose many more guys," Smith said. "We'll get to a point when our depth is going to be better down the road. It's just not there this year."
While Smith says that he probably shouldn't have ran the fake punt which was stopped a yard short of a first down, he says that MSU will continue to take chances. "You've got to take a chance or two somewhere in the game or you're not going to win."
Michigan State (7-2) travels to Columbus to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1) Saturday at 12:00 EST.