It wasn’t pretty.
Iowa fans had grown accustomed to watching quarterback C.J. Beathard hobble around the field after taking a punishing hit. He played through countless injuries in his final two seasons in Iowa City.
Still, when Beathard pulled his hamstring in the second quarter of the Outback Bowl on Monday, it was worse than usual. Beathard stayed in the game deep into the fourth quarter of a 30-3 game. That drew criticism of the coaching staff, which ultimately had final say in whether or not Beathard played.
Beathard estimated that he was about about “30 percent” health in terms of running. He obviously was limited throwing on a day in which he completed a career-worst 30 percent of his passes.
So why didn’t Beathard take himself out?
“I wasn’t going to do that, no. Especially in my last game,” Beathard said after the game. “Maybe in a different game, possibly, but no, that’s not who I am. If I could stay in and play the game, I was going to do that.”
Beathard said he, the coaching staff and the medical staff discussed whether or not he could stay in after every series.
As long as he felt up for it, the coaching staff gave him the right to make that call.
“If he’s going to be in harm’s way, then we’re going to get him out of there, certainly,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “First and foremost, there’s a medical decision to be made by the doctors and trainers. So it starts there. But if he could go, he was allowed to go.
“Certainly he was limited in what he could do. He wasn’t going to run. But he wanted to compete. We certainly owed it to him. He’s had a tremendous career, and laid it out there for us, game in and game out.”
Beathard finished his memorable career on a low note, but he still had a 21-7 record and led Iowa to a Rose Bowl. The question now is whether or not Beathard will be at 100 percent to go through his pre-draft training.
If we’ve learned anything from Beathard, he won’t let injuries hold him back from being a full participant.