With the Big Ten's likely 10th-place team in the rearview mirror and the conference's cellar-dweller on the horizon, Jim Tressel's weekly Tuesday press conference did not produce a lot of noteworthy information.
Except, of course, for the ever-present issues with health that have plagued the team all season.
The Ohio State head football coach confirmed what was already suspected when he announced redshirt freshman safety Corey Brown will miss the rest of the season. He will also miss spring practice recovering from a left knee injury suffered late in Ohio State's 49-0 defeat of Purdue last weekend.
While Brown was not a starter, he was expected to help on special teams and to provide depth in an injury depleted secondary that could be without another regular for the rest of the season as well.
That would be true freshman Christian Bryant, the star in Ohio State's nickel defense. He missed the Purdue game as well while recovering from surgery to treat a foot infection.
"His foot's doing good," Tressel said. "The effects of all the medications and so forth, still haven't released him yet. We hope here today or tomorrow, last I heard. But his foot's doing fine. I'm sure it will be six weeks or better before he can play football."
Two linebackers, starter Ross Homan (foot) and backup Dorian Bell (head), who missed the Purdue game will not be back this week, either, as the Buckeyes prepare to face 1-7 Minnesota at 8 p.m. Saturday night in Minneapolis.
"Ross Homan, think, will do a little land running today," Tressel said. "He's been running in water a lot. I don't think there will be any way that he would be ready for this weekend. Dorian probably won't make it for this week."
Although he is not healthy and will not be all season, right tackle J.B. Shugarts is expected to be in the lineup against a Golden Gophers squad with a nation's fewest three sacks this season.
“I don’t know if he’ll ever have good feet. We were hoping to get 25 plays before it got too inflamed, and we got 39, I think, before all of a sudden he couldn’t do that job,” Tressel said. “Before that he did the job pretty well. In fact, I think he graded a winning performance.”
Last season left guard Justin Boren sat out a late-season game against New Mexico State to rest an injury, but Tressel said that would not likely happen with Shugarts.
“This game has conference implications and everything else,” Tressel said.