Justin Fields got banged up during his incredible performance in the Sugar Bowl against Clemson. The Ohio State quarterback appears to still be feeling it today, 10 days later.
Ahead of the game, Ohio State tried to downplay the issue. Maria Taylor reported that Fields was at “95-percent” after talking with the team, though he was wearing extra rib and hip padding. The team officially deemed his injury a “hip pointer” even though the main hit in the Clemson game looked to be right to his ribs.
He wound up throwing for over 380 yards and six touchdowns, putting together one of the most impressive individual performances in College Football Playoff history against the Tigers. He’ll need to win a shootout against Alabama, which has three offensive players that finished in the top five of Heisman voting tonight, and will likely be without Trey Sermon, who left the game early on with an injury.
Based on the game so far, Fields is battling it out again. It does look like he’s still far from 100-percent though, based on his reaction to some of the hits he’s taken so far.
Justin Fields got hit and lie on the ground for a second. Those ribs are bothering him. How could they not? Tough dude to be playing.
— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) January 12, 2021
Justin Fields is 5-of-10 for 86 yards so far, early in the second quarter of a tie game. The Buckeyes just took advantage of a rare Alabama mistake, scoring on their last drive after a turnover, to knot things up at 14-14.
Master Teague, who is filling in for Sermon, has looked very good so far, with seven touches for 29 yards and both touchdowns. He’ll need to keep giving Ohio State a factor out of the backfield, especially if Fields isn’t going to be the same rushing threat that he normally is.
On the Alabama side, Mac Jones is 14-for-16 for 154 yards and a touchdown, while Najee Harris has a score. Jones fumbled the ball away on a sack on Alabama’s last drive though, which proved to be costly, as Ohio State scored two plays later.
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