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Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Beanie 'doubtful' for Ohio game


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

I just got off the Big Ten coaches' teleconference -- more to come later -- but Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said running back Beanie Wells is doubtful for Saturday's game against Ohio. Wells hurt his right foot/toe in Week 1 against Youngstown State.

Tressel said Wells has yet to practice this week. If the 237-pound junior doesn't participate Wednesday or Thursday, he won't play against the Bobcats. Tressel saw Wells in the training room Tuesday morning and the running back told the coach the foot felt good.

"I would call him doubtful for this week," Tressel said. "If the game were today, he probably wouldn't go."

A much greater concern is whether Wells will be available for next week's mega matchup at USC. Tressel didn't provide a specific diagnosis or long-term prognosis on Wells, saying, "I'm hoping he can get out there as quick as possible."

When asked later Tuesday at his weekly news conference if Wells' injury is not debilitating, Tressel said, "Yeah, I would say that, in a nonmedical way of saying things, that would be fair."

If Wells can't go Saturday, Tressel plans to use a committee system at running back with redshirt freshman Dan "Boom" Herron, senior Maurice Wells and versatile sophomore Brandon Saine, who likely will play more at tailback this week after seeing time split wide as a receiver and at fullback.

"We're not going to change conceptually," Tressel, said, "just different people doing it."

Tressel doesn't expect Beanie Wells' health to impact the way Ohio State uses Terrelle Pryor, but the coach had high praise for the freshman quarterback, who finished as the team's second-leading rusher last Saturday with 52 yards against Youngstown State.

"He's grasped what we're trying to do," Tressel said. "Will we continue to find ways to utilize his talent? Absolutely."

My take: There's no way Beanie plays on Saturday. It's not like he would go into USC without any game experience this season, so it makes no sense to risk further injury. He'll be out there against the Trojans in some capacity, but how effective he'll be is a mystery.