Just hours after declaring himself fully healthy, Ohio State quarterback and expected Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller suffered another shoulder injury during the non-contact portion of practice and will be sidelined the 2014 NCAA football season.
Miller had offseason surgery on his right/throwing shoulder and was brought along in practice cautiously. Now, after pain came with a short pass, Miller faces another surgery.
“I love Ohio State and Buckeye nation, and my goal is to come back from this injury stronger and better than ever,” Miller, who has yet to take a red-shirt season, said. “I am on course to graduate in December and I want to attend graduate school, and then return to lead the Buckeyes next season.
“In the meantime, I want to give all the support I can to my coaches and teammates as they chase a championship this season.”
Miller threw for 2,094 yards and 24 touchdowns and ran for 12 more scores in leading the Buckeyes to the Discover Orange Bowl last season. Ranked fifth in the preseason Associated Press poll released Sunday, Ohio State was expected to be in the national title conversation with Miller at the helm.
The reigning two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Miller first hurt the shoulder at the Orange Bowl. He had surgery that prevented him from contact in spring practice and was held out of several practices and scrimmages in August.
Miller did not practice this spring and had been limited by athletic trainers and coaches in the number of throws he was making this fall. Miller, a starter as a freshman, has 32 rushing touchdowns and 52 TD passes in his three-year career, placing him in reach of many of Ohio State’s career records for quarterbacks.
Unfortunately, he has a history of injuries. Miller missed most of his senior season at high school in Huber Heights, Ohio, and has frequently been sidelined with injuries at Ohio State. As a freshman, he sprained an ankle against Nebraska- a game in which the Buckeyes built a big lead but blew it — but was able to play in subsequent games.
Two years ago, he missed time during the game at Michigan State when he fell into an equipment case on the sideline and later in the game hyperextended his left knee. He was hit hard by Purdue’s Josh Johnson later in the season and missed the rest of that game, with Kenny Guiton leading a stirring march in the final minute for a touchdown and the tying two-point conversion. The Buckeyes won in overtime.
Last season, Miller sprained a knee early against San Diego State and missed the rest of that game and the next two. Then he partially tore the labrum in his right shoulder on the first possession against Clemson in the Orange Bowl. He played the rest of the game. When the injury was discovered later, he had surgery in February.
Ohio State said at the time that Miller had “minor, outpatient surgery.” But he has had problems with the shoulder since and now will miss all of 2014.