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Football: Crowley to medically retire, Melton to sit out with ‘long-term’ ACL injury

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Ohio State sophomore running back Marcus Crowley (24) runs the ball down the field during the Ohio State spring game on April 17, 2021. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo Editor

Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day revealed the injury statuses of several Buckeyes Friday, noting one will medically retire, and the other will sit out with a medical injury.

Junior running back Marcus Crowley will receive a medical redshirt and retire, Day said. The Buckeyes’ skipper also said sophomore linebacker Mitchell Melton suffered an ACL injury during the spring game April 16, describing the situation as “long term.”

Crowley missed all of spring practice and didn’t play the remainder of last season after suffering an injury during the bye week in October. Day said he met with the running back’s family Thursday to discuss more about his future with football.

“He really wants to finish his degree and still be a part of the program, which he will,” Day said. “But he suffered a significant injury, and so he’s going to medical redshirt.”

Crowley played in four games last season, making his last appearance by rushing for 26 yards on seven carries against Maryland Oct. 9, 2021. He ran for a season-high 58 yards at Rutgers Oct. 2, 2021, and recorded a 21-yard reception.

The Jacksonville, Florida, native spent time in 16 games across three seasons at Ohio State, making one start. Crowley compiled 354 rushing yards on 51 carries, averaging just under six yards per attempt. He recorded a score on the ground in addition to snagging 32 yards on three receptions and one touchdown.

Defensively, Melton’s absence will force the Buckeyes to reassess their scheme under new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles. Knowles said Melton impressed him during spring practice, pointing out the 6-foot-3 linebacker could play in the hybrid linebacker “Leo” position.

Melton exited the spring game before the end of the first half, and Day — who said he spoke with the Silver Spring, Maryland, native earlier Friday — confirmed an ACL injury will hold the linebacker out past the start of the 2022 season.

“He’ll be on the road to recovery,” Day said.

While the Buckeyes are a bit banged up entering the summer months of the offseason, Day said it’s difficult to embrace the injury process because “it’s going to be a long road back” to the playing field.

However, Day spoke highly of the medical and training staff within the Ohio State program, pointing out physical therapist and athletic trainer Adam Stewart as someone who’s been “a big part of their lives” in going through recovery and rehabilitation.

“He’s the best in the business, so the good news is we have great resources and these guys are in good hands,” Day said. “The negative is it’s a long road back to recovery.”

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