Ohio State Football: Braxton Miller's Questionable Status Is the Right Move

Adam Jacobi@Adam_JacobiBig Ten Football Lead WriterOctober 24, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 20: Devin Smith #15 and Jake Stoneburner #11, check on Braxton Miller #5, all of the Ohio State Buckeyes, after Miller was injured while running the ball during the fourth quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers on October 20, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Miller did not return to the game.(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Remember the shock and worry of seeing Braxton Miller down and motionless on the Ohio Stadium turf on Saturday after being slammed into the ground?

Remember the continuing uneasiness of seeing him barely able to walk to the cart that would eventually take him to the hospital? Remember the deep relief when it was announced that Miller passed all his tests and was symptom-free at the hospital and he'd be fine?

Ohio State coaches remember all that, and they're also cognizant of the fact that when it comes to head injuries, one good test doesn't necessarily mean everything's all better. So that's why they're walking things back on Miller just a tad. 

Here's the latest word from ESPN:

 

Ohio State QB Braxton Miller (head) practices today, questionable vs Penn State Saturday. #OSUvsPSU

— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 24, 2012

 

Generally, if someone's practicing on a Tuesday, they're playing on Saturday. Generally.

But with quarterbacks—and Miller especially—just practicing isn't the same as being cleared to go for game time. Quarterbacks usually aren't taking contact in practice, for obvious "whoops, I just injured my starting quarterback on a Wednesday" purposes. And the way Braxton Miller's being used in the Ohio State offense, he would be taking a great deal of contact come Saturday.

Moreover, just like the rest of us, Ohio State's trainers know what they saw on Saturday, and what they saw was a guy really struggling to put it together after hitting the ground like that. So while it's encouraging that he checked out so well at the hospital, Ohio State knows the evaluation of Miller still needs to be ongoing.

We've still got three days until Ohio State faces Penn State. Maybe Miller has to be a game-time decision. That's fine. If Ohio State has time to make the decision, it should use it.

Most importantly, kudos to the Buckeyes for not taking Miller's one good series of tests at the hospital as the end of that injury scare. Brain health is something to be taken seriously, and it looks like Ohio State is doing exactly that.