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Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is expected to play in the College Football Playoff championship game against Alabama after suffering an injury to his torso in a 49-28 win against Clemson, Ohio State coach Ryan Day said Monday.
Day would not say if Fields’s ribs were broken or bruised.
“We don’t get into specifics on injuries,” Day said. “We give our availability report at the end of the week, and that’s always been our policy.”
Fields was scheduled to attend a news conference Monday in advance of next week’s game in Miami Gardens, Florida. But then he was said to be unavailable and replaced by running back Trey Sermon.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields walks off the field with training staff members after an injury against Clemson during the 2021 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Photo: Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports)
Day did say that Fields told him he “felt better waking up in the morning (Saturday) than he expected,” one day after the Buckeyes won the Sugar Bowl.
Fields, a transfer from Georgia, suffered the injury in the second quarter of his team’s victory in the national semifinal. Clemson linebacker James Skalski smashed into the right side of Fields’ torso with the crown of his helmet – a collision that was deemed to be illegal targeting by Skalski, causing his ejection from the game.
Fields, 21, left the game for one play but grimaced in pain the rest of the night. He still completed 22 of 28 passes for 385 yards and six touchdown passes, four of which came after the injury, including a 9-yard pass on the first play after Fields returned to the field and then two long touchdown in the second half of 56 and 45 yards.
“I thought that was one of the gutsiest performances I’ve ever seen,” Day said Monday.
After the game, Fields said he received an injection in the medical tent to help him return to action. He said he felt pain after every throw and that “my whole right torso” was “messed up.” He said at the time he did not know the diagnosis of his injury.
“I leave all that stuff up to our medical people who are the best in the country,” Day said Monday. “Justin is such a competitive guy. He wasn’t going to come of the field. That’s just the way he’s wired. You were going to have to pull him off the field. It was pretty amazing performance.”
Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @Schrotenboer. E-mail: email@example.com
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