May 20, 2024

Why Emeka Egbuka, despite being “technically available,” did not play in Ohio State’s victory over Penn State.

Ohio’s COLUMBUS — Since leaving the field due to an ankle injury sustained during Ohio State’s 35-17 victory over Maryland on October 7, receiver Emeka Egbuka has been fighting to return.

Why Emeka Egbuka didn't play in Ohio State's win over Penn State despite being 'technically available' - cleveland.com

His struggle began earlier since, in the instant following his injury, he attempted to cross the Buckeyes’ sideline in an attempt to return rather than just lying down and waiting for the trainers to arrive.

Egbuka stated, “I was trying to like hop off the pitch.” As I hobbled towards the sidelines, I became aware that I was unable to run. I had no idea why. I lay down for a little while before entering the tent because all of my coaches were telling me to get down.

 

As the game went on, he kept fighting in the tent and on the sidelines, but in the end, he gave in to the thought that it probably wasn’t in his best interest to go back to a game that was heading towards being decided already. Though he was still annoyed that he would probably miss a game against Purdue the next week, he turned his attention to a new objective.

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But sentimental value overshadowed anything material in that frustration.

Egbuka stated, “I won’t lie, it kind of sucked.” “I also had my birthday during the Purdue game. As a result, a lot was happening. But I’m appreciative of my current situation. This experience has taught me a lot. Additionally, I was able to help my team in a manner I hadn’t before.”

 

The new objective was to have Egbuka ready to play by October 21 against Penn State, even if he did not fully participate in practise.

It wasn’t until the Buckeyes began preparing for Wisconsin the following week that Egbuka was able to resume practise. He wasn’t fully functional until they began getting ready for Rutgers this past week, at which point it made sense to play him.

 

He worked with the trainers all week, giving it his all to play in the weeks leading up to the eventual 20-12 victory over the Nittany Lions.

Egbuka stated, “My only objective was to play for Penn State.” “I’m appreciative of the people who supported me during this injury, and I’m proud of how I handled it. You can ask anyone working at the facility; I would arrive at 7 a.m. and depart at 9 p.m.It wasn’t until the Buckeyes began preparing for Wisconsin the following week that Egbuka was able to resume practise. He wasn’t fully functional until they began getting ready for Rutgers this past week, at which point it made sense to play him.
not engaging in any physical activity. It was all just ankle rehabilitation.

In an attempt to increase his chances of playing, he skipped the Skull Session and dressed as though he was going to play Penn State. He wanted to make sure that everyone knew that he was prepared to play.

 

Egbuka stated, “I want it to be documented that I was technically available for Penn State.” “I would have definitely played if I had needed to.”

 

Given the opponent, Egbuka’s disclosure that he was between 80 and 85 percent healthy at the time of the game should be sufficient to persuade the coaches to allow him to play. After spending the entire week preparing, he still needed to pass one last exam in order to be cleared by Ryan Day and Brian Hartline.

Egbuka declared, “I needed to be able to stop at full speed as well as run at full speed.” “I had to demonstrate to Coach Day and Coach Hart that I could play at the level that I’m expected to play at by doing that.”

 

After that test, it was decided that Egbuka would be better off not playing. The fact that he wasn’t quite ready played a role in his decision. It also demonstrated that the wide receiver group could afford to be without one of its best players, even in one of the most important games of the season.

“They’ve done a great job over this last month, and Carnell (Tate) and Xavier Johnson are nothing short of amazing players who can step in and have a huge impact,” Egbuka stated. They will keep up their fantastic work. They are a unique component of this offence, and we will involve them in any manner we can.

 

Before making a comeback against the Scarlet Knights, Egbuka missed one more game. Despite his modest performance of four receptions for 29 yards, which he even joked led all receivers, he admitted that he knew it would take another week to return to his best form.

Egbuka stated, “Rutgers was sitting in cover-2 all day.” However, even though we might not have received the production in and of itself, I thought that my routes were there. I had the feeling that I could play the game to the best of my abilities.

 

Teams may not be able to double Marvin Harris Jr. if Egbuka is the main culprit. Due to injuries, the two aren’t the tandem they were in 2022; instead, Harrison has taken the load and developed into a strong contender for the Heisman Trophy.

 

It is imperative that the tandem gets going as there are just two weeks until the Michigan game. Upon his return, Egbuka caught four passes for 29 yards in the 35-16 victory over Rutgers, but it was evident that he still needed to knock aEgbuka stated, “Rutgers was sitting in cover-2 all day.” But even though the production may not have been there, I thought that after missing nearly a month of football, some of the rust had come off.

For the past two seasons, Ohio State has featured two players with at least 1,000 receiving yards. Entering the season with the goal of becoming the first players in programme history to record multiple 1,000-yard seasons were Egbuka and Harrison. Harrison is almost ready to pull that off with an explosive play.

Even now, Egbuka still has a job. Nevertheless, he can resume being the weapon in the slot now that he’s healthy, as his 526 yards (7.1 per catch) in 2022 ranked him among the best in the country in yards after the catch.

Day remarked, “He’s worked hard to get back into the lineup.” “We want him to play November football at his peak. You can see that he is ahead of schedule. Hey, he was hoping to return a couple of weeks ago. It’s great to have him back, and we’ll keep looking for ways to get him back in the starting lineup.

It was positive that he returned for the first time. He must now practise for an additional week in its entirety, and we must return to the previous level at which he was a valuable member of the offence.

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