Backup quarterback Joe Burrow is expected to miss between four to six weeks after breaking a bone in his throwing hand. Burrow underwent surgery right after suffering the injury during practice on Monday.
It now appears that redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins will run away with the backup quarterback duties after this injury.
Haskins was a consensus four-star prospect from The Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland. He now will be expected to do more if senior quarterback J.T. Barrett suffers an injury.
Last season as the backup, Burrow threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for a score on the ground. On the contrary, Haskins has never thrown as pass during his career at Ohio State, but did turn some heads with a strong spring game performance this year.
This injury also leaves the door open for true freshman quarterback Tate Martell to potentially see some action if J.T. Barrett and Haskins both go down. For now Martell will be the third-string quarterback.
Burrow appears to be in good spirits after a series of tweets stating he will be back.
Thanks everybody for reaching out. I shall be back— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) August 23, 2017
If Jon Snow can return from the dead after getting stabbed in the heart… I can return from a broken hand— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) August 23, 2017
Until then Ohio State will have to survive without Burrow. The Buckeyes open the season at Indiana on August 31 at 8:00 p.m.
Although it was clear that Burrow and Haskins were in a heated battle for the backup job, the starting job has always belonged to J.T. Barrett. However, the injury to Burrow could allow Haskins to get an early look as the future quarterback of Ohio State.
Haskins will now have a shot to get valuable experience early in the season since Ohio State typically has been able to play the backups if the game is a blowout. Expect Haskins to see the field against UNLV and Rutgers, two games where Ohio State will be heavily favored. If Haskins impresses during those games then he may be able to go into 2018 as the clear-cut favorite to start.
Another scenario that is interesting is if Barrett and Haskins both suffer an injury before Burrow is able to return. This would then cause Tate Martell to be in control of the offense. This would cause Martell to have to give up his redshirt if he starts, a situation Urban Meyer surely would like to avoid.
Although this situation may seem extreme keep in mind Ohio State has had to rely on the third-string quarterback before, just ask Cardale Jones. A more likely scenario would be Martell being promoted to backup if only one of the quarterbacks ahead of him goes down. Still, Martell losing his redshirt would not be ideal for the longterm plans of the Buckeyes.
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