Wells to sit again, QB undecided for Buckeyes

September, 18, 2008
9/18/08
2:52
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Raise your hand if before the season, you thought Ohio State would enter Week 4 without Chris "Beanie" Wells or a starting quarterback.

That's the grim reality facing the Buckeyes after coach Jim Tressel announced Thursday that Wells will miss his third consecutive game with a right big toe injury that seems increasingly more serious as the weeks go by. Tressel also didn't name a starting quarterback for Saturday's game against Troy, reiterating that Todd Boeckman and Terrelle Pryor will split snaps evenly.

Wells practiced for the second straight day but continues to have lingering soreness in the toe/foot. Tressel isn't even sure Wells will be back for next week's Big Ten opener against Minnesota.

At this point, there's no point in rushing Wells. The toe injury clearly is more severe than originally anticipated (turf toe?). Ohio State doesn't need him to beat Troy and Minnesota. I'm no doctor, but it'd be wise to shut Wells down for at least a week and then do whatever possible to get the big back ready for an Oct. 4 trip to No. 8 Wisconsin. Ohio State needs a viable rushing threat to beat the Badgers. Tressel said Tuesday the injury doesn't require surgery, but it's alarming enough to require a little more rest.

As for the quarterbacks, all signs points toward Pryor taking over. The freshman took 60 percent of the snaps this week in practice. Ohio State likely will use a rotation a few more weeks, but if Pryor continues to show good poise and an ability to limit mistakes, expect him to take over for Boeckman. We all knew Pryor was the future of the team, but he's looking like the present, too.

Another nugget of bad news for the Buckeyes: Starting left guard Steve Rehring could miss several weeks with an injury. That means heralded freshmen J.B. Shugarts or Michael Brewster could get a start.

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