October 5, 2010
Tressel: Pryor should be fine
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor shouldn't be held back this week as the No. 2 Buckeyes prepare for its second Big Ten Conference matchup with Indiana this Saturday.
Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said he expects Pryor - who strained his left quadricep in the Buckeyes' 24-13 win over Illinois on Saturday - to be fine for practice this week.
"I would expect every day he'll get closer to 100 percent," Tressel said. "I don't know who is 100 percent after five games that has as much wear and tear as a guy that has his hands on the ball, but I think he'll be fine."
Pryor fell awkwardly to the ground in the third quarter against the Illini Saturday without contact. He limped off to the locker room after being helped off the field and missed seven offensive plays for the Buckeyes.
The 6-foot-6, 230-pound signal caller did return to the game and help lead the Buckeyes to the win. After the game, Pryor acknowledged the injury was painful and he was worried when he felt a "pop" in his leg.
"I was in a full stride and I thought I was going to go to the house on it," Pryor said. "All of a sudden I heard something pop. I just stumbled and let the ball go. I didn't even know. It was probably the worst pain I had in a while."
Tressel categorized Pryor's injury as a strain, an ailment that could be aggravated again if pushed too hard too soon.
The Buckeyes had light workouts on Sunday after their return from Champaign, but Pryor participated in those in addition to getting his film study in, Tressel said. The Buckeyes had a day off on Monday and Pryor is expected to be out there with the rest of the team Tuesday when Ohio State takes the practice field.
Tressel said the staff will be careful during the week of practice to make sure the quarterback is ready to go when the Hoosiers invade the Horseshoe on Saturday afternoon.
In doing so, that could mean more reps for the backup quarterbacks in the earlier, more aggressive practices, of the week.
"We do a decent amount early and mid-week against our defense, so there does get to be some thumping and so forth, and if he's not a hundred percent, we probably wouldn't thump him in there against our defense," Tressel said. "If he looks like he's 90, 100 percent and is dying to get in there against them, you know, sometimes telling a guy to get out is harder than it is getting them to get in."
Tressel had to gameplan for an injured Pryor for the final three games of last season when the quarterback was suffering from a non-related knee injury, so the head coach is fully prepared if Pryor isn't his usual self against the Hoosiers.
"I think you always have to have in your bag of tricks things for a strong wind in your face, things for a mobile quarterback, things for a quarterback that's not as mobile. We kind of went through that last year," Tressel said. "Those last three games, we didn't have the mobility at that position.
"But we always say that that position first and foremost has to make good decisions," he continued, "which he won't be hampered at, at all, and he's got to keep us from having turnovers. And the decisions have a lot to do with that and we always say that that position has to make big plays. Now, maybe some of those big plays won't be done as much with the feet, but we can still do them with the arm. So we'll go in with the whole gamut like we always do."
Quad injuries, much like hamstrings, tend to linger, but Pryor has no doubt that he will be on the field next week against the Hoosiers. To Pryor there is no doubt he will be on the field Saturday, as he proved he was just fine Saturday afternoon.
"I was back for this game," Pryor said after the Illinois game. "I'll be back."
Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.
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