SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields told the media during Tuesday’s Fiesta Bowl press conferences that his injured left knee is still lingering as the second-ranked Buckeyes get set to play No. 3 Clemson Saturday in the College Football Playoff Semifinals.
“It is alright. It is not as good as I want it to be right now, but every day I am working to get it back to hundred percent and just back to as best as I can get it, really,” Fields said.
Fields told The Clemson Insider his knee was about 85 percent as of Tuesday.
“I think it limits me in terms of just being able to maneuver defenders and stuff like that,” he said. “Going into a game you can’t think about that. You just have to be a gamer and do the best you can really.”
Fields had a similar injury at Georgia last year, but he said it took just two or three weeks to heal. However, this time, the knee is not responding the same way and he can’t seem to shake it. He first injured the knee against Penn State and then aggravated it the following week against Michigan.
“Maybe, I am not as patient as I’d like to be,” the Heisman Finalist said. “I don’t know if it is something I am not doing or what. I just try to go to the training room and do what they tell me and just try to get my knee right. I don’t really know what else there is to say.”
Fields did tell an Ohio State reporter, later, that he will go back to the smaller brace he wore in the Big Ten Championship Game. As for knowing when to run on it and how he will get around the Clemson defense on Saturday, Fields says he has to pick and choose his battles.
“You just have to know when to make a play and know when to play smart and know what the situation is in the game,” he said. “Of course, it is the last few seconds of the game and we need a first down or something then you can’t really worry about the knee. But if it is the first quarter and its first-and-ten and you are trying to make a play then throw the ball away and be smart about it.”
This season, Fields has thrown for 2,953 yards, while completing 67.5 percent of his passes. He has thrown 40 touchdowns to one interception in 308 attempts. He has also rushed for 471 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Ohio State quarterbacks have been sacked 31 times this season and Fields has 207 lost yards.
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