Ohio State: Plenty of questions about J.T. Barrett’s knee, zero about his toughness

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The J.T. Barrett Health Symposium was amazing this year.

Great seats, front row on the left aisle. Bottomless refills of Coke Zero. There was even a live Cameraman Collision demonstration from the Ohio State quarterback.

Just about the only puzzling details for this amateur doctor were all those confusing entries I scribbled down during Barrett’s presentation on his right knee Saturday.

It kind of shifted in, which has happened before.

Twisted in on me.

Hyperextended. Locked out. Untwisted. Didn’t unlock. Pop it back in.

Obviously, I’ve got a lot to learn in this particular field, because it was tough to nail down an exact diagnosis for what apparently has been ailing the senior since the season-opening win against Indiana in August. The Buckeyes also haven’t been all that forthcoming with injury updates for the most prolific touchdown-producer in Big Ten history, although that may be just because they don’t know what to call this issue, either.

In the end, it might not make any difference. My official takeaway from yet another informative session: Barrett is one of the toughest dudes I’ve ever met.

In all seriousness, for as many lengthy conversations and arguments as there have been and will continue to be about Barrett’s legacy with the Buckeyes, there can be no debate about his threshold for pain. There should be no questions about the strength of his will to play through issues that could certainly knock other quarterbacks out of the lineup.

“It’s not anything too crazy,” Barrett said at the podium. “I’ve played on it all year.”

Really? He referenced dealing with this knee problem for the first time this season on the opening drive against the Hoosiers. Math isn’t my strong suit, either, but that means all of those 33 passing touchdowns, the 672 rushing yards and 9 more scores on the ground have all come when Barrett was probably not entirely at full strength.

j.t. barrett-ohio state buckeyes
J.T. Barrett has produced 42 touchdowns this season. (Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10)

That’s as impressive as anything else he’s accomplished in his illustrious career, and another reminder of why he’s the only three-time captain in school history. Certainly, Barrett has dealt with injuries that have forced him to the sideline, most famously the fractured ankle at the end of his freshman season but also again during the third quarter last week at Michigan. But it should be clearer than ever that Barrett will give everything he’s got from his mind, body and heart for the Buckeyes — which is why it’s a lock that he’ll start on Saturday in the Big Ten title game.

Actually, maybe that’s a bad choice of words based on those notes from his postgame talk at the Big House. Which is why I needed to attend a follow-up seminar with Urban Meyer earlier this week to figure out what exactly to call this thing.

(More great seats — front row, left aisle of the middle section. Talk about good luck.)

“Cartilage,” Meyer said. “A meniscus. Yeah, I don’t want to pretend that I know. But I’ve dealt with it before, and it’s a cartilage that once it comes out of the area … I shouldn’t even — I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

“We’ll work on it the next couple of days. Let me know if you figure it out.”

That’s probably not going to happen, but I feel comfortable about my prognosis.

Barrett isn’t going to let any cartilage or meniscus or hyperextension or twisted knee keep him out of one of the biggest games of his career.

There’s a Big Ten championship on the line. There’s a full week for him to attack some rehabilitation, and it wouldn’t even surprise me if he just moved into the training room this week. The Buckeyes managed to pull off a comeback without him on Saturday in Ann Arbor, but if they’re going to make a run at the College Football Playoff, they need him in the lineup.

And as long as he steers clear of any cameramen, his next postgame symposium might feature a prop or two — the shiny, championship kind.

The post Ohio State: Plenty of questions about J.T. Barrett’s knee, zero about his toughness appeared first on Land of 10.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.