Oct 24, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day during the third quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

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Ohio State not ruling out playing against Michigan State

Ohio State officials are hoping the Buckeyes will be able to take the field next weekend at Michigan State after being sidelined Saturday as COVID-19 spread through their locker room.

The Buckeyes called off their Saturday game at Illinois late Friday after more positive tests.

It’s unclear how many Buckeyes players tested positive. Head coach Ryan Day is the only member of the program with a positive test to be identified publicly.

And while the program is shut down for now and Day is quarantining at home, athletic director Gene Smith said it is too early to rule out the possibility the Buckeyes could meet the Spartans next Saturday in East Lansing, Mich.

“It’s kind of fluid, frankly,” Smith said. “We’re going to have to go day-by-day, see where we are today and test again tomorrow, see what we have with tests tomorrow. … I wish I could say it’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but I really can’t. We’re going to have to [be patient], because there’s too much uncertainty here. We’re just going to have to look at each day and see what we got.”

This is the second cancellation of the season for the Buckeyes (4-0); their game against Maryland two weeks ago was canceled because of an outbreak in the Terrapins’ program. Maryland lost two games amid their shutdown.

Other teams, including Arizona State and Florida, have missed multiple games this season because of COVID-19.

Day said he is doing well but feels for his players.

“I’m resting comfortably,” Day said. “I have an extremely heavy heart, though. The sacrifices have been made by so many, and the anxiety over months and months and months of every day getting test results back to make sure that the entire program is safe. Then to experience it this week, Thanksgiving week? I can’t sit here and tell you anything other than it’s really, really hard.

“But like I told the team, it’s just another opportunity to get through some adversity, work through adversity and learn more about yourselves. That’s the only way that I can describe and put a positive spin on it right now because it isn’t fun.”

The Buckeyes are scheduled to end the regular season Dec. 12 against Michigan. Teams must play at least six games to be eligible to compete for the Big Ten Championship. The College Football Playoff Committee said last week there is no minimum number of games required to be considered for a CFP berth.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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