Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields absorbed a devastating hit to the midsection during Friday night’s game. He finished it, despite being in obvious pain.
After the victory over Clemson, the player who enhanced his draft stock with a six-touchdown performance on a major stage in college football explained that he didn’t get much of an explanation regarding the specific injury he suffered via the receiving end of a helmet-first hit from linebacker James Skalski, which triggered his ejection for targeting.
So what did Fields learn when evaluated by team doctors during the game or the 20-minute halftime?
“They didn’t really tell me anything,” Fields told reporters following the 49-28 win, via Erick Smith of USA Today. “I took a shot or two and just ran back out there. But it’s pretty much my whole right [side] is sore. That’s messed up. And a little, my hip. But they didn’t really give me a diagnosis at all.”
Fields winced repeatedly throughout the remainder of the game, when throwing the ball and when trying to get on a sideline exercise bike to stay loose. He grabbed at times the area above his right hip.
Even with a “shot or two” aimed at numbing the discomfort, Fields continued to show indications of distress. And while it’s unreasonable to expect the doctors to have a clear and specific diagnosis as to the full extent of the damage, it’s reasonable to expect that the doctors ruled out anything serious, like a lacerated kidney.
When Chris Simms suffered a ruptured spleen while playing quarterback for Tampa Bay in September 2006, doctors didn’t diagnosis it until after the game, when they finally realized that he was bleeding internally. So it’s not unprecedented or potentially serious conditions to slip through the cracks.
Fields apparently avoided injury to internal organs. Based on his explanation, however, it sounds like no one ruled it out — or at a minimum that, if they did, they didn’t tell him.