Painful weekend around the Big Ten

October, 4, 2010
10/04/10
10:00
AM ET
The first weekend of Big Ten play came at a cost for several teams, while Purdue's misfortune on the injury front continued even though the Boilers didn't play a game.

Here's a quick recap of three key injuries around the league:

Ohio State S/LB Tyler Moeller
  • The situation: Results of an MRI on Moeller's chest should be known Monday, but the prognosis doesn't look good. Multiple outlets are reporting that Moeller likely will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle he suffered early in Saturday's win at Illinois. Moeller suffered the injury while trying to wrap up Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure. The Buckeyes' safety/linebacker already was planning to petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility after he missed all of 2009 with a head injury suffered when he was the victim of a criminal assault.
  • What it means: Moeller had been one of Ohio State's top playmakers on defense -- he had 20 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, a sack, an interception and two forced fumbles -- so his presence will be sorely missed. Ohio State already is down a safety for the season in C.J. Barnett (knee), and Nate Oliver (hamstring) also is banged up. Freshman Christian Bryant took over for Moeller at Illinois and would be the next option at the "star" position, featured in Ohio State's oft-used nickel package.
Penn State TE Garry Gilliam
  • The situation: Coach Joe Paterno said Gilliam suffered an ACL injury in Saturday's loss to Iowa, and the redshirt freshman could be lost for the season. Gilliam had been starting in place of Andrew Szczerba, who likely won't play this season because of a back injury. He suffered the injury in the second quarter.
  • What it means: Penn State entered the year thin at tight end after losing Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler to graduation. The injuries to both Szczerba and Gilliam make things really dicey. Penn State likely will turn to true freshman Kevin Haplea or use Brett Brackett, a big wide receiver, at the tight end spot.
Purdue WR Justin Siller
  • The situation: Purdue had a bye last week, but coach Danny Hope said Sunday night that Siller suffered a sprained foot Sept. 25 against Toledo and will miss "an extended period of time ... several weeks, possibly." Siller, who returned to the team after a year-long suspension from school and won a starting job, has 12 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown this season.
  • What it means: Purdue loses yet another offensive skill player to an injury. Siller is particularly valuable because he started three games at quarterback for Purdue in 2008. There had been some talk he could move back to quarterback following Robert Marve's season-ending injury, but his injury situation makes it unlikely. While Purdue's health situation at running back is improving, the Boilers now are down two starting receivers (Siller and Keith Smith).

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