Ohio State football safety Josh Proctor to miss rest of season following leg injury

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State Buckeyes safety Josh Proctor (41) is carted off the field after suffering a leg injury during the third quarter of the NCAA football game against the Oregon Ducks at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

Ohio State safety Josh Proctor will miss the rest of the season after suffering an apparent leg injury in Saturday’s 35-28 loss to Oregon.

“I don’t know the exact term of what it was, but there was a fracture there,” coach Ryan Day said Monday night during the Buckeye Roundtable show on 97.1 The Fan. “Very, very tough injury for him, and prayers are out for him and his family.”

In the third quarter, Proctor was carted off the field at Ohio Stadium with an air cast placed on his right leg. Team trainers attended to him for several minutes, and Day mentioned in his postgame news conference that the injury “looked not good.”     

Day said that Proctor is resting comfortably after undergoing surgery.

“That all went well,” he added, “but a very, very big loss for our team and obviously a big loss for him.”

Through two games, Proctor was fourth on the team with 10 tackles.

Proctor has been the Buckeyes’ starting free safety, a role that serves as the one deep safety in their secondary, since late last season.

To replace him, the Buckeyes could first look to redshirt sophomore Bryson Shaw, who filled in during the first two games.

Shaw has been on the field for 69 plays, according to Pro Football Focus. No one else has lined up at the position this season.

Another candidate could be Marcus Hooker, a redshirt junior who started four of the first five games last season ahead of Proctor. When Hooker was sidelined for the Big Ten championship game due to injury, Proctor took hold of the starting spot and remained there through the College Football Playoff.

But Hooker has only appeared on special teams this season, not taking a snap on defense. He missed spring practice because of a suspension following an arrest for operating a vehicle while impaired. He was then reinstated in the summer before preseason training camp.

Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at jkaufman@dispatch.com or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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