COLUMBUS — Ryan Day says Ohio State will have enough players to play Alabama in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Monday and Justin Fields says he will have enough time to be ready to play in that game.
Ohio State is dealing with some COVID-19 issues and there has been speculation they are significant enough for OSU or the Big Ten to ask for the game to be pushed back a week.
Nationally syndicated sports talk host Dan Patrick said Thursday that sources have told him Ohio State is “very close to the availability limit” for playing the game.
But Day said Ohio State expects to play Monday night, as scheduled, in Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
“We’ll have plenty of players,” the Ohio State coach said on a Zoom conference on Thursday.
Fields was injured in the second quarter of Ohio State’s 49-28 win over Clemson in a playoff semifinal last Friday night when he took a helmet in the ribs on a tackle at the end of a running play.
He returned after one play following a trip to the medical tent on the sideline and went on to throw for 385 yards and six touchdown, four of them after the injury.
“I’ll be good come Monday night,” Fields said, without giving an indication of how close to 100 percent he feels now.
“The day after the game I woke up definitely better than expected. But the days I didn’t expect to wake up kind of hurting was two or three nights after the game,” he said.
“I really haven’t thought about how this injury is going to affect how I’m going to play. I’m just thinking about getting as much treatment as possible and trying to get my body right so it’s 100 percent and to be able to perform at a max level come Monday night.”
Fields also said he was “taken out of context” after the win over Clemson when he said, “They didn’t really tell me anything. I took a shot or two and just ran back out there.
“I think what I said after the game was kind of taken out of context. I just want to make one thing clear, that I have full trust in the trainers here at Ohio State and Dr. (Jim) Borchers. I wasn’t hesitant on taking anything that they would give me. I was just trying to do whatever I could to get back on the field,” he said.
“I think those guys handled it the way I would have wanted it to be handled. I just put my full trust in those guys. I don’t want it to be taken out of context like, ‘Oh they just shot him up and sent him back out there.’ It wasn’t like that. They did a full analysis of my injury and how it was, and they did what they thought was best. I was fully comfortable with that.”