Ohio State fans are justifiably getting a little nervous.
Michigan and Maryland are not going to play on Saturday because the Wolverines are dealing with a CoVID outbreak.
The Wolverines conducted virtual activities on Monday and Tuesday this week while they waited to find out how bad the spread was within the locker room, and now they are done for the weekend.
"We have seen an increase in the number of student-athletes unavailable to compete due to positive tests and associated contact tracing due to our most recent antigen and PCR testing results," Michigan AD Warde Manuel said in a statement on Wednesday. “Daily testing will continue and medical professionals will make a determination when to resume practice. The earliest practice can resume will be Monday.”
What does this mean for Ohio State? The Buckeyes must play each of their next two regular season games in order to qualify for the Big Ten championship game under the league's current guidelines. Ohio State is dealing with the virus too, and no matter the circumstances, if anyone cancels either of the two remaining games on Ohio State's schedule, the Buckeyes will be on the outside looking in for the Big Ten title.
“It’s kind of fluid, frankly,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said on Saturday. “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. So it’s going to be day-to-day. I wish I could say [there will be decisions on] 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.
“My concern today is making sure our players get fed. Making sure if they need a sports psychologist's help, they get that," Smith said. "I get the question (about the Big Ten revisiting the six-game minimum to qualify for the championship game). I'm very sensitive to that. But that’s not where we are. I mean we made a decision late last night to do what we did, so a lot of things occurred late last night. So that last thing on my mind was [potential changes to the protocol]."
For their part, Ohio State lifted its pause on team activities on Tuesday and is hoping to play this weekend in East Lansing.
But considering the apparently dire situation in Ann Arbor, its officially sweaty-palms time for Buckeye fans.
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