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Where is Master Teague at with his rehab? Is he further along than expected?
— Heisman Blood (@Buckeyechuck5) June 9, 2020
Master Teague strolled into the Woody Hayes Athletic Center with a mask on and carrying a loose handful of wires.
He didn’t have on a walking boot. The Ohio State running back also wasn’t limping. Both of those can be chalked up as positive developments for somebody who tore an Achilles tendon just three months ago.
So, by normal human standards, it’s probably fair to assume that Teague is ahead of a typical rehab schedule for an injury like he suffered on the first practice of spring camp in March. Is he far enough along that he could potentially be ready to make aggressive cuts, run full speed and stand up to the rugged requirements of his position by the start of the season in September? That remains unclear, although Teague is certainly doing everything he possibly can to make it happen.
“[Watching] as closely as I can,” Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford said a few weeks ago. “We have an amazing training staff, our doctors are second to none. So, I go off what they tell me.
“From all indications, both [Teague and Marcus Crowley] are doing well in rehab. They’re attacking this thing the way that we want them to and we would expect them to. I’m kind of at their mercy. As far as the medical staff, they’ll tell me when they’re ready and let Coach [Ryan] Day know what we’ve got. From all indicators, they’re doing a nice job and they’re on schedule.”
The Buckeyes never confirmed a definitive schedule for Teague’s full recovery, and not all Achilles tears are the same — as both Tuf Borland and Justin Hilliard proved over the last couple years by returning to action after spring injuries. Both of those cases can serve as rough guides for Teague, although multiple sources indicated to Lettermen Row that even the most optimistic timeframe for the redshirt sophomore would have limited during training camp in August.
Borland was able to return to practice when the Buckeyes reported for camp two years ago, blowing away teammates with his tolerance for pain and willingness to do anything needed to play the game. But he spent the entire season playing at less than 100 percent, and that obviously wouldn’t be ideal at tailback if Teague rushes back too early. Hilliard took a bit more conservative approach to his return, but he also was able to play in games by the first month of the season a year ago.
So, it’s certainly not out of the question that Teague’s relentless work ethic, impressive physique and one of the best training staffs in the country could get the tailback ready to contribute for the Buckeyes this year. But it’s too early to know for sure when he’ll be fully comfortable again with his Achilles and ready to perform at the level required of a starter for a national-championship contender, and that is going to make him one of the most closely-watched players on the roster when Ohio State gets the green light to resume football activities.
Master Teague is almost certainly ahead of schedule compared to most mortals. But it remains to be seen when exactly that will put him back on the field for the Buckeyes.
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