Jordan Hall should return before conference play opens.
The Ohio State running back figures to even get a couple games under his belt before the competition really heats up as well.
But the freak accident from stepping on a piece of glass that led to surgery on his foot on Friday will keep him out of offseason activities for the rest of the summer and will also sideline him during training camp, which is far from an ideal situation for the Buckeyes as they transition to a new offense.
Perhaps even tougher for new coach Urban Meyer and Hall -- the two appear to be a perfect match, and it might take them a bit longer than expected to get rolling together.
"This is an unfortunate accident to a really fine young man," Meyer said in a statement. "He's handling things well, though.
"He'll be in a non-weight bearing cast for about six weeks and then he'll rehabilitate the injury for at least four weeks after that."
That 10-week timeframe would keep Hall out of the opener against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 1, and most likely the projected starter in the backfield would be limited a week later against Central Florida.
The Buckeyes would still have two more games before Big Ten action opens at Michigan State, and they might not be unveiling the entire offense during the two nonconference dates either. Additionally, Ohio State isn't exactly short on options at running back with an experienced option in Carlos Hyde listed on the depth chart behind Hall -- and sophomore Rod Smith and freshman Bri'onte Dunn in reserve as well.
But Meyer admitted during spring practice that nobody was closer to filling the versatile role in his offense once made famous by Percy Harvin at Florida. Ultimately Hall remains the leading candidate to take it over, but there's now going to be a delay.
Now that the Buckeyes know how long they could be without Hall, the next issue will be figuring how long it takes him to get up to speed -- both literally and with the new schemes.