As the Ohio State Buckeyes and Northwestern Wildcats approach kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Buckeyes have announced their Game Day Status Report.
Star wide receiver Chris Olave, starting linebacker Baron Browning and punter Drue Chrisman are among nearly two dozen players who will not play in today's game. Defensive ends Tyler Friday and Javontae Jean-Baptiste are also unavailable. In addition, wide receivers coach Brian Hartline and linebackers coach Al Washington are not in Indianapolis for today's game.
Without Chrisman available to punt, either senior Zach Hoover or sophomore Michael O'Shaughnessy will punt for Ohio State. Chrisman announced on social media that he tested positive for the virus.
The good news for the Buckeyes is that its starting offensive linemen - Josh Myers, Thayer Munford and Nick Petit-Frere - as well as starting linebacker Tuf Borland, will all return to action today.
The complete list of unavailable Buckeyes can be found below.
What's important to note here is that it's not known exactly which players on the report have been diagnosed with CoVID-19, nor is the school publicizing when any of those players were diagnosed. So if the Buckeyes win a fourth straight conference championship today, the question becomes simple: how quickly can that player return after recovering?
A College Football Playoff spokesman told the Toledo Blade that each qualifying team must continue to adhere to its own conference's CoVID-19 guidelines. That means if an Ohio State player tests positive, as of now, he must sit out 21 days. The Big 12, ACC and SEC policy is for players to sit out 10 days after being diagnosed with the virus.
Ryan Day said last week that the Big Ten has discussed the possibility of decreasing the mandated 21-day window. Meanwhile, on his radio show Thursday, Day said he has spoken with Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith about the future of the 21-day rule.
"I know he is having those discussions now," Day said. "But we have to get through Saturday and see what is next."
The College Football Playoff Selection Show will air on ESPN on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 12 noon Eastern Time.
The National Championship Game is Monday, January 11 in Miami. If the Buckeyes beat Northwestern and the rule is not changed, any player that tests positive after Monday Dec. 21 would be ineligible for the national championship game if Ohio State advances that far.
The following Ohio State players will not be available for today's Big Ten Championship Game
SAF Marcus Hooker
WR Chris Booker
CB Cam Brown
LB Baron Browning
RB Steele Chambers
P Drue Chrisman
DL Jacolbe Cowan
LB Tommy Eichenberg
DE Tyler Friday
DT Zaid Hamdan
WR Jaylen Harris
QB Gunnar Hoak
DE Javontae Jean-Baptiste
LB Cade Kacherski
QB Jagger Laroe
WR Chris Olave
TE Corey Rau
LB Ben Schmiesing
SAF Bryson Shaw
OL Ryan Smith
WR Jaxson Smith Njigba
DB Alec Taylor
SAF Kourt Williams
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