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The Big Ten Is Officially Changing Its 21-Day Rule

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, a Big Ten football star, on the field.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 28: Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers in the first half during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ohio State was named the No. 3 seed in this year's College Football Playoff on Sunday afternoon. The Buckeyes just got even more good news, courtesy of the Big Ten.

According to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, the league has decided to change its 21-day rule regarding positive COVID-19 tests. Players who tested positive will now only have to sit out for 17 days - a four-day reduction.

The rule will apply to all Big Ten teams, but it most certainly primarily benefits Ohio State. The Buckeyes were without 22 players - including star wideout Chris Olave - against Northwestern in the Big Ten title game on Saturday.

It's unclear which players tested positive for COVID-19 and which were forced to sit out due to contact tracing. The Buckeyes likely won't get all 22 players back by January 1, but getting some of them back will be a real help.

If the Buckeyes can get Olave back, it'll provide a huge boost. Quarterback Justin Fields struggled against the Wildcats without one of his top playmakers.

Of course, there will be some who think the Big Ten is changing another rule to solely benefit Ohio State. There is some merit to that, but it's also true that the league's 21-day policy was stricter than the CDC recommended in the first place.

Ohio State will take on Clemson in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2021 at 8:45 PM ET on ESPN.