Ohio State's Washington, O'Neal suspended for two games

August, 8, 2008
8/08/08
12:49
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State defensive backs Donald Washington and Jamario O'Neal told reporters Thursday at media day that they've been suspended for the first two games of the season. Here's the report from the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises. Neither player elaborated on the reasons for the suspensions. Washington is a starting cornerback opposite Malcolm Jenkins, while O'Neal has been a reserve safety.

Both players missed part of spring practice, though no one said why.

This isn't a major blow for a still-stacked Buckeyes defense, especially since the first two games come against Youngstown State and Ohio. A three-game suspension would have been a different story, given that the Buckeyes travel to USC in Week 3. Still, it's never ideal to face USC in your first game of the season, but that'll be the reality for both players. And the Buckeyes' secondary is already without Eugene Clifford (transferred) and James Scott (out for preseason).

Sophomore Chimdi Chekwa, who likely will start the first two games in place of Washington, has the chance to impress the coaches and possibly keep the top job against the Trojans. Washington started every game last season and racked up 39 tackles.

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