Talkin' Tressel: Purdue Edition

Injuries were again the name of the game as Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel met Thursday with reporters. Get the final injury update before Saturday's game against Purdue and find out how the coach feels the Buckeyes are recovering from last weekend's loss.

The injury situation for Ohio State has not improved since the week began. At his final press conference of the week, Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel said his team will be without two starters and one key reserve on the defensive side of the ball as his team takes on Purdue.

Linebackers Ross Homan and Dorian Bell will both be out of action, while freshman defensive back Christian Bryant underwent surgery on his infected foot Thursday morning and will be out for a few weeks.

There is some good news for Bryant, however.

"They think they figured out what the situation is," the coach said Thursday morning. "Hopefully he'll be back on his feet soon and we hope he'll get out of the hospital by Saturday. It's just a matter of when he can put pressure on that foot."

Bryant had ascended to the starting star spot in OSU's nickel defense thanks to a handful of injuries to other players and earned his first career start Oct. 9 against Indiana. He saw limited playing time against the Badgers as the Buckeyes primarily used their base defense, and it was afterward that he was taken to the hospital to have his foot examined.

He has remained there all week and subsequently has missed class, said Tressel, who visited him Wednesday night in the hospital.

"It's an infection that they finally figured out what they're dealing with and now they're going in to try to alleviate all the stuff," he said. "It's just a matter of healing. I would imagine it's going to be a while. I can't imagine him being able to push off a foot that's been cut up pretty good.

"We'll see. I hope it's not long. I hope they can go in and it's simple and he can get out of there."

The coach said they are not sure how Bryant came down with the infection but said they have not been advised to take any further decontamination measures within the team's facilities.

"If you were ever in our building, you run into the floor-cleaning guys and the shower-cleaning guys all day and night long," Tressel said. "I don't know how we could clean it any more than we do. It's the first one of those (infections) I've ever seen us have."

In addition, Tressel said the Woody Hayes Athletic Center is closed down every year or two for full-scale cleaning to prevent against the spread of diseases.

Homan injured his foot or ankle during the team's loss to Wisconsin, and Tressel reiterated that the senior captain will be out "for a while, I think." Bell is recovering from a concussion.

"His is head-related and you're always very conservative there," Tressel said of Bell.

Bryant is not the only Buckeye suffering from a foot problem. Junior right tackle J.B. Shugarts is battling an undisclosed problem with one of his feet that kept him out of action for most of the Indiana game. Afterward, Tressel said Shugarts has bad feet and has been battling an issue for some time now.

Thursday, the coach said it is a situation they will continue to monitor.

"You work with a foot person and they've been working with orthotics so that he doesn't have certain pressure at certain points," Tressel said. "When you're running into 300- and 280-pounders all day long and you weigh 300-some yourself, sometimes it puts pressure on (you). You probably didn't run into those kinds of guys in high school."

Asked when it first developed, Tressel said, "I don't know for sure if he came here with bad feet. I don't think he got new feet when he got here."

Shugarts was replaced by freshman Andrew Norwell against the Hoosiers but did not come off the field against the Badgers.

"He's either got to play with it or if he can't then the next guy has to come in," Tressel said.

Saturday's game (noon, Big Ten Network) gives the Buckeyes a chance to try and move on from their first loss of the season. Tressel said the mood has been upbeat during the week of practice. Whether that means the team has moved past the loss remains to be seen, however.

"I would imagine there are some guys that are down and some guys who had forgotten it," the coach said. "I've always felt that you don't' really know about the attitude of a whole group until the whole group gets to go out and perform as a group. I feel good about the way they went onto the field as a team practicing.

"I don't know that you can test the attitude of a whole until the whole is put out there again."

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