Ohio State linebacker Tommy Eichenberg won’t let two injured hands slow him down in practice.
The redshirt junior had visible bruises on his hands during his media availability earlier this week, but he said he wouldn’t let the injuries keep him out of the lineup for Saturday’s big upcoming game against the Michigan Wolverines.
After Ohio State’s game against Maryland on November 19, one of Eichenberg’s teammates suggested that the linebacker broke his hands. When reporters asked Eichenberg if the bones in his hands were actually broken, he replied, “I’m not sure. But they feel good.”
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Eichengberg mentioned that many other players play with pain.
“It would take a lot to keep me from playing, especially with this team, this defense,” Eichenberg said of Eleven Warriors. “Anyone who is still playing football is struggling with other things. Everyone feels pain every time they are still on the field. So people have to deal with different things.”
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Eichenberg’s coaches are impressed with his resilience.
“Tommy is as tough as it gets, as tough as any other player I know,” said defensive coordinator Jim Knowles. “He embodies what we want to be as a defense and I think as a program because nothing is going to stop him. Regardless of the circumstances of the injury, he will show up.”
The pain had no noticeable impact on the Ohio State linebacker’s on-field performance. He had 13 tackles in the Buckeyes’ 43-30 win over the Maryland Terrapins.
Eichenberg even mentioned that the injury in the duel made him basically healthy.
Like his teammates, Eichenberg is haunted by the memory of last season’s loss to Michigan. The defense has played poorly for most of the competition, but this year’s game offers an opportunity to make amends.
The game also has a massive impact on the college football playoffs. Ohio State is the second-ranked team, while Michigan is ranked No. 3 in the latest CFP rankings.
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This season, Eichenberg is an all-American candidate. He has recorded 105 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 2 1/2 sacks.