COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State senior safety Tyler Moeller will miss the remainder of the 2010 season, a source close to the situation confirmed with BuckeyeGrove.com on Monday.
Moeller was injured in Ohio State's 24-13 win over Illinois on Saturday and an MRI revealed he has sustained a torn pectoral muscle.
The source confirmed Moeller is schedule to have surgery this week to repair the muscle. Moeller's injury occurred when he attempted to tackle Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure on the Illini's first offensive series. The Buckeyes were in their nickel package where Moeller excelled as the team's starting "star" or nickelback.
The injury to Moeller came in just his fifth game back with Ohio State after sustaining a season-ending head injury before fall camp of the 2009 season.
Moeller is expected to apply for a medical redshirt after missing all of last season, which would give him another year of eligibility next season for the Buckeyes.
This season Moeller was regarded as a fifth-year senior. The NCAA must grant him a sixth year of eligibility for him to return to Ohio State next season.
The bad luck keeps getting worse for the Buckeye secondary, who already lost starting safety C.J. Barnett for the season earlier in the year. Ohio State has also seen a rash of injuries to cornerbacks Travis Howard, Chimdi Chekwa, and Devon Torrence this year.
Freshman Christian Bryant will presumably take over as the team's starting nickelback after replacing Moeller for the remainder of the game against the Illini.
Starting safety Jermale Hines has also played the star position in the past and could possibly be moved there if Bryant struggles. Senior Aaron Gant could then shift into the starting lineup at safety after playing mostly on special teams during the majority of his career with the Buckeyes.
BuckeyeGrove.com will have more information on Moeller's injury and Ohio State's plans in the secondary tomorrow after head coach Jim Tressel meets with the media in the early afternoon. Stay tuned for updates on the situation.
Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.