Ohio State linebacker Tommy Eichenberg isn’t letting a pair of injured hands slow him down, even in practice.
The redshirt junior was seen with bruises on his hands during a media availability earlier this week, but said he won’t let the injury sideline him from the lineup for Saturday’s huge upcoming game against the Michigan Wolverines.
After Ohio State’s game against Maryland November 19, one of Eichenberg’s teammates accused the linebacker of fracturing his hand. When reporters asked Eichenberg if the bones in his hands were indeed broken, he replied, “I’m not sure. They feel good, though.”
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Eichenberg noted that many other players play through pain.
“It would take a lot to stop me from playing, especially with this team, with this defence,” Eichenberg said via Warriors XI. “Everybody who’s still playing football, everybody’s dealing with different things. Everybody’s got pain whenever they’re on the field. So guys have got different things to deal with. “
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Eichenberg’s coaches have been impressed by his tenacity.
Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said, “Tommy is as tough as they come, tougher than I’ve been around.” “He’s the epitome of what we want to be as a defense, and I think, as a program because nothing is going to stop him. No matter the circumstances of the injury, he’s going to show up.” “
The pain hasn’t had a significant effect on the Ohio State linebacker’s performance on the field. He recorded 13 tackles in the Buckeyes’ 43–30 victory over the Maryland Terrapins.
Eichenberg even noted that dealing with the injury made him fundamentally stronger.
Like his teammates, Eichenberg is motivated by the memory of last season’s loss to Michigan. The defense played largely poorly during the contest, but this year’s game presented an opportunity for redemption.
The game also has massive College Football Playoff implications. Ohio State is the second-ranked team, while Michigan comes in at No. 3 in the latest CFP rankings.
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This season, Eichenberg is an All-American candidate. He recorded 105 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 2½ sacks.