Barrett aggravated an issue with the cartilage in his right knee before and during this past weekend’s victory over rival Michigan. He left that game in the third quarter, but said at its conclusion that he expected to be healthy enough to play for a conference championship against the Badgers.
Meyer said he wasn’t sure about Barrett’s status after the game, but the quarterback’s health moved in a positive direction in the ensuing 48 hours.
“That’s moved into probable right now,” Meyer said in his weekly news conference. “He’s really doing a nice job with all of the rehab.”
Meyer said the Buckeyes will give more practice reps than usual to backup option Dwayne Haskins during the week of preparation. Haskins replaced Barrett and led a comeback win at Michigan in the fourth quarter. Meyer said the redshirt freshman’s performance in a high-pressure situation gives the Buckeyes confidence that he can take over for Barrett again, if needed.
“I could see it in the room that there is a lot of confidence in [Haskins],” Meyer said.
Barrett said the knee has locked up on him at various points throughout the 2017 season. He said Saturday that a person with a camera bumped him while he was warming up on the sideline at Michigan Stadium, which caused the knee to start bugging him. He threw one touchdown pass and ran for another while leading the team with 15 carries before a tackle in the third quarter re-aggravated the injury. He needed help from athletic trainers to get up at that point and went directly to the Buckeye locker room.
Meyer said he was angry after the game that Ohio State lost its starter to a “non-football injury” and called for an “all-out investigation” into who bumped Barrett on a crowded sideline prior to the Buckeyes taking the field. Meyer said Sunday that his focus this week will be on preparing for Wisconsin, but he believes others in the Ohio State athletic department will pursue answers about what happened to Barrett on the sideline.