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Analysis of Big Ten Player Injuries and Suspensions

Law Buck cannot remember the last time so many important players got injured before a Big Ten season. I think it's just a product of the increased coverage on Fall practice. Either way, a bunch of solid players face questions over their health or eligibility status. Let's take a quick look at the impact of the latest injuries and suspensions:

Tyler Moeller, LB, OSU

What Happened: He was going to start until getting conked on the head in a Florida bar.

Diagnosis: Early reports said he was out for the year, but according to 11 Warriors, he's chomping at the bit to get back on the field.

Impact: As 11 Warriors points out, this was one of OSU's deepest positions. And since the Buckeye's reload at LB anyways, I can't imagine this being a monstrous loss.

Justin Boren, OL, OSU

What Happened: Sprained his knee badly in practice, will miss three weeks at the most.

Diagnosis: Will not miss any games, but will miss valuable time to gel with the other members of the offensive line.

Impact: He's on Phil Steele's First Team All-Big Ten team and supposed to be an anchor for this talented OSU line. Not the guy you want to be surrounded by injury questions.

Michael Mauti, LB, PSU

What Happened: As BSD describes, Mauti tangled his knee up and tore an ACL while chasing a running back during practice.

Diagnosis: He's done, by all accounts. Mauti's father is talking MRI's and doom and gloom.

Impact: Minimal, but that's not a denigration on Mauti. It's just that Penn State's LB corps is so nasty this year with Lee and Bowman.

Aubrey Pleasant and Shane Carter, Safeties, Wisconsin

What Happened: Bielema suspended these two veterans for the remaining preseasons camp. No word on what exactly happened, but both safeties have contacted lawyers and are fighting their suspensions.

Diagnosis: Getting kicked out of preseason camp is never good news. I've been unable to find any rumors or news about what their prospect of being reinstated is.

Impact: Wisconsin plays a couple of run focused OOC teams (NIU, Fresno) and avoids Juice Williams and his highly hyped receivers. Losing a couple of backup safeties who were dogging it during practice and had a history of breaking team rules will probably not throw off this teams equilibrium. However, the shady circumstances of their removal will make fans question the way Bielema is running this team.

Jewel Hampton, RB, Iowa

What Happened: Or more accurately, what has been happening. After another recent injury, BHGP wrote:

...this is the third time in 6 months that he's injured the same knee and missed practice time.

Diagnosis: When your stepping in for Shonn Greene, you're going to be under a microscope. Hampton's knees are not reacting well to this scrutiny, as he was recently witnessed walking gingerly on the sidelines at practice.

Impact: Iowa has unproven backups and an offense that ran the ball 60% of the time last year. Hampton's health is probably the biggest question around Iowa's camp right now.

Jordan Bernstine, CB, Iowa

What Happened: Broke his ankle on special teams play in practice, or as his high school coach said, snapped it good. OH GOD that gives me, owner of two previously busted ankles, shivers.

Diagnosis: Will probably miss the whole season.

Impact: As the owner of the Big Ten's hardest in-conference schedule, Iowa needed all the depth they could find in their secondary. The Hawkeyes play two of the the only Big Ten teams that can legitimately wing the football down the field (Ohio State, Penn State), so Bernstine's importance as a possible starting CB or safety was paramount.