Ohio State football went through a rough patch over the last week due to the spread of COVID-19 through the program. Head coach Ryan Day was one of many individuals that tested positive for the virus.
Still, as the Buckeyes looks towards a fresh week, everything won’t be normal for the leaders of the Big Ten East.
Most notably, Day will be unable to coach this weekend’s game against Michigan State, if it is able to played on Saturday. The 41-year-old remains in isolation as the team attempts to recover from the rapid spread of the virus. The earliest that Day can return is next Monday, according to Heather Dinich of ESPN.
Without him, the Buckeyes expect assistant head coach and defensive line coach Larry Johnson to lead the team against the Spartans.
An Ohio State spokesman confirms to ESPN that COVID protocols will prevent Ryan Day from coaching if the Buckeyes play at Michigan State Saturday. https://t.co/gG505ImzTM
— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) December 1, 2020
The news comes after Ohio State canceled last weekend’s game against Illinois late on Friday night. The Buckeyes clearly exceeded 7.5% in its population positivity rate and determined that it would be unsafe to play.
At this point, it remains unclear if Ohio State will be able to play this Saturday. Although it seems like the worst stages have passed, it’s possible that the Buckeyes won’t have enough players active.
Of course, from Ohio State’s perspective, the game this weekend is absolutely necessary. The Buckeyes are 4-0, but need to meet the six-game conference threshold in order to qualify for the Big Ten Championship game. Without an appearance in that contest, it may be difficult to make the College Football Playoff.
Already, the conference game between Minnesota and Northwestern was canceled earlier in the week. The Golden Gophers had over 40 positive tests within the program, as of Monday.
Stay tuned for more information regarding the status of Saturday’s game between the Buckeyes and the Spartans.