MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields showed no signs of being physically limited by the injury he suffered in the national semifinals against Clemson, leading the Buckeyes on an early scoring drive in the first quarter as the national championship game against Alabama began to resemble the shootout most expected from two of college football's top offenses.
After two possessions, Fields had completed 3 of his 5 attempts for 59 yards, including completions of 36 and 20 yards that led to an 8-yard touchdown run from Master Teague III to knot the game at 7.
Fields' solid start has helped OSU offset losing running back Trey Sermon, who left the game with an apparent injury after the first drive.
Fields' father, Ivant "Pablo" Fields, told ESPN before the game his son was diagnosed with a hip pointer.
Justin Fields' dad said Monday that his son had suffered a hip pointer in semifinal against Clemson. (Photo: Ken Ruinard, USA TODAY Sports)
Fields played despite suffering an injury to the right side of his torso in the second quarter of his last game, a 49-28 win against Clemson in the national semifinal Jan. 1. That’s when Clemson linebacker James Skalski barreled into Fields’ rib and hip area with his helmet on a tackle that was flagged for illegal targeting, causing Skalski’s ejection from the game.
The blow also knocked Fields out of the game for one play before he returned to throw four more touchdown passes, including two bombs of 56 and 45 yards. He said afterward an injection helped him get back on the field.
“I took like a shot or two in the (medical) tent and just ran back out there,” he said Jan. 1. “But I mean it’s pretty much my whole right torso that’s messed up, a little bit of my hip.”
Fields also said after that game that he felt pain after every throw. But the specific nature of his injury was kept secret by Ohio State coach Ryan Day, who cited team policy about not disclosing injuries. Day said medical decisions were handled by the medical staff.
On Thursday, Fields said he had “full trust in the trainers here at Ohio State and (team doctor James) Borchers.
“I wasn't, you know, I guess hesitant on taking anything that they would give me, but I was just trying to do whatever I could do to get back on the field,” he said then. “I think those guys handled it the way I would have wanted it to be handled.”
He predicted on Thursday, “I'll be good come Monday night.”
Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @Schrotenboer. E-mail: [email protected]
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