How Vonn Bell’s Injury Impacts Ohio State’s Spring Practice

Quarterback Braxton Miller won’t be the only Ohio State player missing spring practice.

On Thursday, ESPN.com’s Austin Ward reported that safety Vonn Bell would be sidelined following surgery on a torn MCL that was suffered Tuesday.

Bell’s loss is a tough one. Yes, there’s always a next-man-up philosophy, but that doesn’t make it an ideal situation.

As Bleacher Report’s Michael Felder wrote on Wednesday, Ohio State is missing a chance to get better without Miller in the spring lineup. The same can be said for Bell’s absence.

With the departures of senior safeties Corey Brown and C.J. Barnett, as well as the early departure of junior cornerback Bradley Roby, Ohio State’s secondary was going to have a new look next season. Bell figured to be a key player in that new group.

If there’s a silver lining to the injury, it’s the timing. The sophomore-to-be will be back with plenty of time to catch up during offseason workouts and preseason practice.

Still, Bell really could have used the reps. Ohio State has to get better all-around—not just in the secondary—against the pass after ranking 11th in the Big Ten in pass defense and last in long passing plays allowed.

You can never fully account for injuries, but now Ohio State will be without a proven starter (Miller) and what appears to be a rising star in Bell.

Of course, Bell didn’t play nearly as big a role for the Buckeyes in 2013 as Miller did. As a true freshman, Bell saw limited…

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