Unbeknownst to anyone we’re aware of outside of the Florida State football program, EJ Manuel played in the Seminoles’ bowl win over Notre Dame with a rather significant injury.
A press release with the subject line of “Florida State Offseason Injury Update” — and buried in the third paragraph of the email, no less — contained the following note:
Quarterback EJ Manuel sustained a fractured fibula in his left leg in the Champs Sports Bowl win over Notre Dame, but has healed nicely making him available for spring practice.
And that was the extent of FSU addressing the previously unknown issue.
Suffice to say, the news of Manuel playing at least part of the game with a broken leg — it’s unclear exactly when the injury occurred, although it’s believed to have happened in the first half — caught those who cover the football program on a daily basis a wee bit offguard. “After game, there was no sign his leg was badly hurt. He was his same calm, easy-going self. Seemed to have usual post-game bumps,” Coley Harvey of the Orlando Sentinel wrote on Twitter.
While Manuel will be fine for the spring, several of his teammates won’t. Offensive linemen Jacob Fahrenkrug (left shoulder), Garrett Faircloth (hip) and Daniel Foose (lower back), defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel (ankle) and defensive end Bjoern Werner (right shoulder) will not be available due to offseason surgery.