Count me among those who enjoyed the spanking Ohio State put on Dabo and his boys the other night. But upon further review, the coaches and medical staff exposed their true colors when they declined to take an X-ray of Justin Fields’ ribs, either immediately or at halftime. All of Buckeye Nation was speculating at home: cracked or broken ribs, damaged kidneys? Watching him try to walk, the pained expression on his face, we knew this was nothing a band-aid was going to cure.
The fan in me was all too happy to look the other way too, especially when Fields came right back into the game and threw a bullet pass for a touchdown. Please let him come out for the second half, we prayed. We can’t win without him! Please let him be OK.
While fans can be given a pass for their lust for victory, coaches and doctors cannot. They have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect players. But the coaches and the doctors were all acting like us fans. “Tough it out, son. You can’t hurt it worse,” they may have said. “We can’t win this game without you,” they may have thought.
We may never know the conversations that took place the other night between doctors, coaches and player. Maybe we don’t really want to know. Ask yourself, what would I want those doctors and coaches to do if that were my son?
Maybe more information will come out this week that shines a better light on the decisions that were made and the ethics of those making them. I’ll gladly eat every one of my words if that’s the case.
As for Justin Fields? Heroic! Legendary! And thank you. And if that makes me a hypocrite, so be it. I’m just a fan.
Tim Missler, Elida