EJ Manuel played bowl game with broken leg

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Nearly eight weeks after one of the best comebacks of quarterback EJ Manuel’s career, Florida State officials announced that he fractured his fibula in the Champs Sports Bowl victory over Notre Dame.

Manuel was seen limping on his left leg during the third quarter of the Dec. 29 game. The fibula is not a weight-bearing bone, which is why Manuel was able to play through the Dec. 29 game.

Florida State fell behind 14-0 in the third quarter, but the Seminoles’ defense was able to force interceptions that led to the comeback 18-14 victory. Manuel threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes — an 18-yarder to Bert Reed and a 15-yarder to Rashad Greene.

Manuel completed 20 of 31 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked five times.

His injury has “healed nicely making him available for spring practice,” according to a statement released by Florida State’s sports information department on Tuesday. Manuel did not need surgery, as a fibula fracture often heals on its own over time.

Manuel completed 65.3 percent of his passes in 2011, throwing 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

A rising senior from Virginia Beach, Va., Manuel is 13-4 as Florida State’s starting quarterback. He also has three bowl wins under his belt, earning two of those victories (in the January 2010 Gator Bowl and the December 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl) when former Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder was injured.