Justin Fields Expected to Play Through Injury vs. Alabama, Says OSU's Ryan Day

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2021

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields runs against Clemson during the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Despite suffering a rib injury against Clemson, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is expected to be on the field against Alabama for the national championship game.

"We definitely expect him to play," head coach Ryan Day told reporters Monday.

Day said he would not get into details about the specifics of the injury.

Fields took a big hit from Clemson's James Skalski, resulting in the linebacker being ejected for targeting. The quarterback stayed in the game but received treatment on the sideline, including multiple shots for pain tolerance.

"It's pretty much my whole right torso that's messed up and a little bit of my hip but they didn't really give me a diagnosis," he said after the game.

"After each and every throw, my ribs hurt," Fields added.

The pain didn't seem to affect Fields' play as he finished with 385 passing yards and six touchdowns to go with 42 rushing yards on eight carries.

It lifted the Buckeyes to a 49-28 upset victory and the school's first trip to the national title game since 2014.

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"He's as tough and competitive of a guy as I've ever been around," Day said of Fields Monday.

Ohio State will need him once again to stick with Alabama, which has one of the best offenses in recent years with an average of 48.2 points per game and several elite playmakers like DeVonta Smith and Najee Harris.

If Fields cannot play in next Monday's game, the Buckeyes have few options considering no one else has thrown a pass for the team this season. C.J. Stroud does have a rushing touchdown this season and could be the next man up if needed.