For Ohio State and Justin Fields, I wouldn’t think this will be exactly optimal.
In the third quarter of No. 1 Ohio State’s most recent win over Michigan, the sophomore quarterback went down with what looked could be a rather significant injury to his left leg. After a brief trip to the medical tent, Fields returned and, on his first play back, tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass. Following the game, Fields acknowledged that he had actually sprained the MCL in the huge win over Penn State the week before; for the Big Ten championship game win over Wisconsin that secured a spot in the playoffs, Fields was at less than 100-percent healthy and his mobility, a big part of his game, was somewhat limited by the combination of the injury and the bulky brace he wore to protect it from worsening.
Last week, Ryan Day stated Fields is “going to be at 100 percent” given the amount of rest he’s gotten. With kickoff for the College Football Playoff semifinal vs. Clemson just four days away, however, Fields estimates that, right now, the knee is at 80-85 percent.
“My knee is probably not where I wanted it to be right now,” Fields said. “I’m probably going to wear the same knee brace that I started out with for the Team Up North game. I brought the big one just in case anything happens.
“I mean, I definitely thought I would be closer to 100 percent. If I gave a percentage right now, I’d probably be 80 or 85.”
The injury has not caused Fields to miss any practice time leading up to the semifinals, it should be noted.
In his first season as a starter, Fields has thrown 40 touchdown passes vs. just one interception, with a pass efficiency rating of 200.3 that leads the Big Ten and is third nationally. The true sophomore’s 10 rushing touchdowns are currently tied for ninth among FBS quarterbacks.