Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields’ injury status is one of the major storylines in tonight’s national championship game with Alabama. The Buckeyes star took a huge hit in the semifinal win over Clemson, and went on to play one of the best games of his college career.
There has been a ton of speculation about the nature of his injury. Ohio State has kept things very close to the vest about the star quarterback, after the New Year’s Day game.
When he was hit by Clemson linebacker James Slaski, who was ejected for targeting, it looked like a rib injury. Instead, it sounds like he’s dealing with what is being described as a hip pointer. That is obviously not ideal, but may be a bit more easy to deal with for tonight’s game, though it would be surprising if he’s 100-percent in any case.
On College GameDay, Maria Taylor reports that he went through his warmups without a noticeable issue. He is wearing a rib protector, which raises some eyebrows, as well as extra hip padding. We’ll see shortly how it looks in live game action.
On College GameDay, Gene Wojciechowski said Justin Fields was diagnosed with a hip pointer after the Sugar Bowl.
— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) January 12, 2021
A lot has been made about how mobile quarterbacks tend to give Nick Saban defenses the most issues. Justin Fields certainly fits the bill, though if his ribs or hip are an issue, that could make him more pocket-bound.
Fields was 22-for-28 for 385 yards, six touchdowns, and an interception against Clemson, adding 42 yards on the ground. He also got an ascendent game from Trey Sermon out of the backfield, which helped matters.
He may need to do all of that once again, if Ohio State is to keep up with Alabama’s home run-hitting offense, led by Mac Jones, Najee Harris, and Heisman winner DeVonta Smith.
Tonight’s Ohio State-Alabama national championship kicks off momentarily on ESPN.