COLUMBUS – Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields updated the status of his injured left knee on Tuesday and while the news was positive overall it wasn’t totally reassuring.
Fields says he will play in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin on Saturday in Indianapolis but he might not be able to run as much or as effectively as he has the rest of the season.
“It hurts right now, of course, but I’m just going to try to get in the trainers’ room as much as possible. In my mind, I’m playing on Saturday. I don’t care how much it hurts, I’m playing,” Fields said. “I just come in every morning, do different exercises with the trainers and just try to ice it a lot and do different exercises that strengthen my quad and my knee.”
The sophomore quarterback suffered a strained medial collateral ligament in his knee on a sack late in OSU’s 28-17 win over Penn State two weeks ago, then had it aggravated when a teammate fell on the knee after a collision with a Michigan pass rusher last week.
Fields was down on the field after last week’s hit and went to the medical tent on the Ohio State sideline to be checked out.
He missed seven plays and then threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson on his first play back in the game.
When he returned, he was wearing a large brace on his knee, which could affect his ability to run against Wisconsin.
“It limits how fast you can run but it keeps you safe when you’re back in the pocket, so at the end of the day it’s like you can be limited or you can be safe and you have to find out which is more important.,” Fields said.
“I just feel more secure with it on, especially with my knee being as it is right now. But I definitely can’t run as fast and I won’t be as mobile. But the most important thing is staying safe and being healthy.
“I don’t think it affects throwing at all. In the game you can’t worry about what’s on your body. You just kind of have to go up there and worry about scoring and putting points up on the board. It might affect you a little but at the end of the day you just have to go out there and score points,” he said.
Seeing Fields lying on the artificial turf at Michigan Stadium and disappearing into the medical tent put a massive scare into Ohio State fans who thought his season might be over. But Fields said he did not react that way.
“I didn’t have negative thoughts like that. I just hoping I could get back on the field. I knew how big the game was. I really wasn’t worried about the injury, I was just worried about getting back on the field as fast as possible,” he said.
Fields has passed for 2,654 and 37 touchdowns with only one interception. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for another one in Ohio State’s 38-7 win over Wisconsin in the regular season.