- Mitch Sherman, ESPN Staff Writer
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Taylor Martinez missed all but one Big Ten game in his senior season because of a plantar plate tear of the second metatarsal phalangeal joint in his left foot, according to his father and foot doctor.
Basically, it’s a torn ligament in his toe.
Three weeks after his record-shattering career unceremoniously ended on the sideline at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., as his understudy, Tommy Armstrong Jr., flipped a 99-yard touchdown pass in the Huskers’ Gator Bowl win over Georgia, we know what really happened with Martinez last fall.
So why now?
Because Martinez’s father felt the time was right. Casey Martinez revealed the details of Taylor’s much talked-about foot injury on Wednesday to clear the air. And to move forward.
The mystery that surrounded Martinez’s injury, from the days that followed Nebraska lost to UCLA on Sept. 14 through late October after his painful comeback attempt against Minnesota, bordered on silly.
Coach Bo Pelini rarely offered detail on the injury. When he did, even that was vague. His answers only led to more questions.
According to Casey Martinez, Nebraska never exactly diagnosed it. Surely, though, Pelini knew more than he said. It's normal for coaches at all levels of football to conceal information about injuries. They do it to protect their players’ health and privacy and to maintain a competitive edge.
In the case of Martinez, the secrecy just led to rumors and conspiracy theories. Was he being shoved aside? How badly was he hurt? Did Nebraska mismanage his injury?
In the end, Nebraska did nothing wrong; neither did Martinez. His father said he didn’t question the Huskers' handling of the situation, even the decision to play the QB at Minnesota when he needed more rest.
The important thing is this: Martinez is moving on. He’s feeling better and training at home in California. He’s set to make a splash on March 6 at Nebraska’s pro day.
He’s open to playing positions other than quarterback in the NFL, which should enhance his value.
Martinez endured a sad finish to an illustrious collegiate career. At least there are no more questions about how it ended.
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3dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
4dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy