The newspaper reported that Freeman developed a staph infection after undergoing knee surgery. He could be out for the season.
Freeman, a product of Huber Heights Wayne in the Dayton area, suffered a torn meniscus while covering a kickoff in the opener against Miami (Ohio). He told the DDN he is receiving antibiotics through an IV bag and must wear it for about four weeks.
"I can't work out while I've got this on," Freeman told the newspaper.
After a fine showing in the spring, Freeman was expected to play extensively this year on special teams and as the backup to Bobby Carpenter at outside linebacker. He hasn't ruled out returning for late-season games. But he acknowledged it doesn't look good.
Because he only played in the opener, Freeman would be eligible to apply for a medical redshirt year. That means if he does not return this season, he would have three years of eligibility remaining.
"I'm disappointed, obviously," Freeman told the DDN. "As far as this season, I'm here for the team. I may not be back on the field, but I'll be all right. There's always next year."
"I feel bad for him," senior linebacker A.J. Hawk told the DDN. "He had a great spring. I'm not sure what he's going to do with a redshirt year, but we just have to make sure we get him healthy."
With Freeman out, freshman James Laurinaitis is listed as Carpenter's backup.
* Ohio State issued its depth chart for Saturday's Big Ten opener against Iowa (noon, ABC).
Freshman Alex Boone is now listed as the backup left tackle behind Doug Datish. Steve Rehring, who was listed there, is now behind T.J. Downing at right guard. Redshirt freshman Kyle Mitchum, who was Downing's backup, is not listed in this week's two-deep.
On defense, there has been a shuffle at defensive end. Freshman Lawrence Wilson is now listed behind David Patterson at one end spot. Jay Richardson, who was listed behind Patterson, is now listed behind Mike Kudla at the other end spot. He replaces Alex Barrow as the backup on that side.
Through three games, OSU has played primarily with three linemen and a linebacker replacing the end. Patterson has seen most of his reps in that alignment as a backup tackle.
Freshman Malcolm Jenkins has moved into the lineup as the starting nickel back on the depth chart. Jamario O'Neal had been listed, although Brandon Mitchell got most of the work at that spot in the first two games.
* Former OSU All-American Jack Tatum will serve as the honorary captain for Saturday's game with Iowa.
* In terms of rankings, OSU is eighth in the AP poll and ninth in the coaches poll. Iowa is 21st in both polls.