Barrett Confident He Will Play Saturday

J.T. Barrett sprained his left MCL against Penn State, but the quarterback and coach Urban Meyer expect him to be able to play Saturday against Illinois.

As was expected Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was limited in practice on Wednesday. The redshirt freshman sprained the MCL in his left knee late in the second quarter against Penn State on Saturday but played all of the second half and both overtime periods, helping the Buckeyes to a 31-24 win.

Barrett, who was wearing a brace on the knee when addressing the media after practice Wednesday, said there was some swelling and his knee was a little sore, but was confident he would be playing Saturday night against Illinois.

“It would have to be something drastic happen between now and 8 o’clock (Saturday),” he said. “I plan on playing.”

Barrett completed 5-of-10 passes for 22 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns in the second half and overtime against Penn State. He did not attempt a pass in either overtime, but did rack up 36 yards and two touchdowns on the ground after halftime.

Despite the somewhat pedestrian numbers, Barrett said that the knee wasn’t limiting what he could do against the Nittany Lions.

“I actually really never played with an injury to this degree, but I knew I could take a drop, I could run,” Barrett said. “It’s not like you go in there half-stepping because if so the team could use Cardale Jones.

“It was pretty normal. Once I got out on the field I didn’t even think about it.”

Barrett said that because the MCL is on the inside of the knee cuts in that direction are limited, but he was comfortable dropping back and jogging Wednesday.

Coach Urban Meyer was pleased with what he saw from his injured signal-caller Wednesday.

“He went, I wouldn’t say quite (full-go), but he’ll be full tomorrow,” the coach said. “He did good, real good.”

Barrett and the coach are confident that the MCL sprain will not require the quarterback to miss any time. As Barrett was leaving practice Wednesday a reporter asked for confirmation that Barrett had every intention of playing against the Illini. Barrett had a simple answer.

“That is correct,” he said.

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