COLUMBUS, Ohio – When the state of Ohio finished its run at the Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday, Urban Meyer called for a victory formation in the middle of the field, wanting to sow a vision in the minds of their Buckeyes.
The initial offense and the starting quarterback trotted on the field, and at that time, about 28 hours before the start of the Big Ten Championship, you could not have been sure which field marshal it would be.
It was JT Barrett.
Saturday night, it was J.T. Barrett again, in victory formation, on one knee, after having won despite his knee.
There is a debate about the convenience of putting an amateur athlete on a football field six days after arthroscopic surgery to clean the loose cartilage of his right knee. Browns tackles Joe Thomas, who knows more about playing with pain than any athlete in the history of football, expressed that concern before the game.
I'd like to see NCAA FB get a second independent Dr opinion that can help players do major surgical operations and medical decisions (like the NFL). As a guy who has had many knee surgeries, it's unsettling that JT Barrett had his knee operated a few days ago and is playing today.
– Joe Thomas (@ joethomas73) December 3, 2017
Thomas went further on his Twitter account, participating in a discussion about medical decisions in college football, the power of coaches and the need to that the athletes obtain all possible information.
It is an important point.
However, when it comes to Saturday night, and this may sound short-sighted and simplistic, it was not a debate. It was not a theoretical discussion about the safety and well-being of amateur athletes.
This was a guy who wanted to play, and who had been denied that possibility three years earlier.
While Barrett was heading to the stands to hug his mother after the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin 27-21, you saw how cruel it would have been for fate to take it off again, after a broken ankle kept the Barrett out of this game as part of the Buckeyes' race in 2014.
Fate took it away again when he left the field against Michigan last week.
And Barrett recovered it.
"So I said to myself," The last time we got to the party, but they did not let me in, "Barrett said after completing 12 of 26 pbades for 211 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. and run 19 times for 60 yards.
"So this time I have the opportunity to play in this game, I was going to do whatever it takes to go out and play with my brothers knowing that he is my greatest ar.
" This was one of the reasons why I came back, to play in great games like this. With the opportunity to go to do that, with the Lord, it would be fine. With God, everything was going to be fine. That was in my head.
"So with that, I just did not stress, I did not worry, I just did what I could about rehabilitating my knee and reducing the swelling, and I knew, I just put it in the hands of God and do not worry for nothing "
This is, of course, a team decision, a coaching decision and a medical decision. There is a lot that goes into this. Medical opinions should be the most important, but we all know that there are other factors at play, and there is a lot at stake.
There is also a mother, Stacy Barrett, who leans from the stands to hug her son. And what she thinks matters more than anything.
"It's not impossible," he told cleveland.com as the celebration continued to erupt around him. "I mean, he worked hard and he did his therapy and all that, and he's with his brothers."
Then he entered the Sabbath without fear.
"No, sir, not at all," he said. "Ohio State has the best coaches, so do not worry at all."
The concerns, in fact, were slim.
Barrett did not care if his knee would hold, not after taking half of it in practice on Thursday and practicing some hard cuts on Friday.
"I was confident in my ability to get out," Barrett said. "So it was not like I was doubting at all."
There were also no worries about the game plan. Barrett's 19 carries were his normal charge in the running game.
"I felt like me," Barrett said, although he was a little more hesitant in the fight at the beginning of the game and, at times, showed less pop in motion.
When offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Ryan Day asked how Barrett felt running the ball, Barrett said, "You can call any play you want."
Meyer said he was not worried about further damaging Barrett's knee by playing him.
"The only thing about the injury he had, it's not structural … it can not get worse, it's just pain tolerance, it will swell up," Meyer said. "So it was not like a ligament problem where you're putting a player at risk, it was not like that at all, it was simply that part of his cartilage was shaved in a wide-reaching, swelling surgery, if he can tolerate the pain. "
And there were no worries on Sunday when Barrett told backup Dwayne Haskins, who finished the Michigan game, that he was going to operate.
"It was not like I really had a choice for that," Barrett said. "I really could not straighten my leg with my meniscus burst, so I had to undergo surgery, but I mean it was just a small procedure."
"When JT got hurt on Saturday, I was like," I could have my first start in the Big Ten Championship game. Who does that? "Haskins said in the victorious locker room on Saturday." When he said he was going to have surgery, I thought, 'You have your knee in the air: does that really happen, do you play the same week? & # 39; But I never asked him about that. I was always prepared. It was a crazy week. "
When Barrett limped to the sideline at one point in the third quarter, a coach told Haskins to start throwing.
But it was not necessary.
Barrett was enough This was what he wanted, this is what he promised.
"On Saturday after playing The Team Up North, I said I was going to play next week," Barrett said. "So if he did not, it would be a kind of liar.
"And I would not lie"
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