Still no word on outside linebacker Bobby Carpenter's availability for the Fiesta Bowl.
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said the X-ray of linebacker Bobby Carpenter’s leg showed improvement, but he did not say whether Carpenter would be available Monday. Carpenter did not practice with the team Thursday and would probably have to get on the practice field by Saturday if he hopes to play.I sense some gamesmanship going on. In chatting with my radiologist father-in-law over the holidays, I learned that a broken fibula can take anywhere from four to eight weeks to heal, depending on the severity of the fissure, and since it's a break near the ankle, he's probably nowhere near 100% yet. (I also learned that if a fibula is broken at the proximal extremity, or the capitulum fibulae, it would be more severe than if it's broken at the corpus fibulae, especially if the fibers of the anterior ligaments and tubercles are damaged as well. Here, Jay, let me show you some MRIs as an example...)
If no. 42 can't go, it's going to affect our gameplan significantly. Bobby Carpenter's probably a shade faster than A.J. Hawk, and he led the Buckeyes in sacks this season (8.0) from the outside linebacker position. Two freshman would split time in his absence: former ND recruit Lawrence Wilson ("God wanted me to go to Ohio State instead") and James Laurinaitis, whose dad Joe is also known as Road Warrior "Animal" on the WWE Smackdown circuit.
They're nowhere as experienced as the veteran Carpenter, so don't expect any springboard seated sentons to be uncorked on Brady if Laurinaitis is in the game. On the other hand, do expect Charlie to seize upon the talent dropoff and exploit it. I'm thinking Fasano on a crossbody block, springing Darius on a screen who executes a diving elbow drop over the goal line.