Buckeyes RB Wells out of practice after foot injury

Updated: September 1, 2008, 5:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Beanie watch is on for the Buckeyes.

Two days after Ohio State star Chris "Beanie" Wells fell back in a heap with an injured right foot, the second-ranked Buckeyes said Wells did not practice on Monday and continued to wear a protective boot.

He has been receiving treatment from trainers for the past two days, but the school had nothing definitive to report regarding a diagnosis or timeline for playing.

So the Buckeyes must wait and hope that their Heisman Trophy contender is quick to recover.

Wells went down early in the third quarter of a 43-0 victory Saturday against overmatched Youngstown State.

[+] EnlargeChris Wells
Jamie Sabau/Getty ImagesOhio State tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells is helped off the field Saturday during the third quarter against Youngstown State.

Ohio State spokeswoman Shelly Poe sent an e-mail to reporters Sunday, restating that Wells had no broken bones.

Coach Jim Tressel said Saturday team doctors told him the X-rays were negative and the injury was not turf toe.

Ohio State can probably get by without Wells on Saturday when the Buckeyes host Ohio. That's not the case the following week, when they visit No. 3 Southern California in a huge nonconference game.

"You see one of the guys go down and you hope he's all right," linebacker James Laurinaitis said after the game. "Chris is a tough guy. I hope it's not serious. You hate to see a guy of his caliber laying on the ground."

Judging from how Wells writhed on the field in pain, the injury did not appear to be a minor one. A crowd of more than 105,000 thought so too. The Horseshoe was practically silent for several minutes while doctors and trainers attended to Wells near the goal line.

"I may have rolled it or planted wrong a play or two before," Wells said through Poe moments after the game. "Something just didn't feel right. Then I think I felt a pop. But the X-rays are OK, so we'll see how it feels in a day or two."

Wells, who has been hindered by nagging injuries throughout his college career, fell to the ground in pain before he was even hit after taking a handoff at the Youngstown State 2. He fumbled the ball away before there was contact, then fell backward while medical personnel rushed to his side. Tressel even ran onto the field.

"As I handed the ball back, he didn't even grab the ball," quarterback Todd Boeckman said. "I didn't know what to expect, didn't know what he did. He went down and he was in some serious pain."

After he was helped off the field, Wells was put on a motorized cart and taken to the locker room. He returned to the sideline in the fourth quarter wearing a boot on his right ankle, watching the end of the game while sitting on the bench with teammates. When the final seconds ticked away, Wells walked to the locker room from the bench area and was almost dragging his right leg.

The junior had 111 yards on 13 carries, including a 43-yard touchdown burst as the Buckeyes rolled to a 26-0 lead at the time of his injury.

"Sure, Beanie's one of the best in the country," offensive lineman Ben Person said. "He's our guy. It would hurt to not have him, but we've got lots of guys behind him that can do well."

Should Wells be laid up for a while, his replacements would be Brandon Saine, Dan Herron and Maurice Wells. Each has a distinct style and could add a dash of mystery to the Ohio State offense. But together they've never gained 1,600 yards, as Wells did a year ago for the Buckeyes.

"I think I'm ready to play," said Herron, a redshirt freshman. "Chris told me to just make sure to hold onto the ball."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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