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Report: Ohio State Football Dealing with More Positive CoVID-19 Cases

Ohio State is preparing to play on Saturday in the Big Ten championship game against Northwestern, but it sounds like they will be short-handed again.

UPDATE AS OF 10:45 AM ON SATURDAY DEC. 19

The game day status report has been released. Here are the players who will be out for the Buckeyes.

UPDATE AS OF 10:45 AM ON FRIDAY, DEC. 18

While the Buckeyes may be dealing with positive tests (which the school has not confirmed), there's still no reason to believe that the Big Ten Championship Game is in jeopardy. Every school in the country has dealt with playing through the pandemic and positive tests are part of the deal this year. Look around the league this week alone - multiple games have been cancelled this weekend.

Ohio State has practiced this week as scheduled and will still travel to Indianapolis this evening ahead of tomorrow's game against Northwestern.

The Buckeyes will release their game day status report on Saturday morning before the game, specifying only which players are unavailable this weekend. The report will not confirm whether any players are out because of a CoVID-19 diagnosis.

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ORIGINAL STORY

The Buckeyes might not be out of the woods yet with CoVID-19.

According to Jeff Snook, a longtime respected journalist who's written several books about Ohio State football but currently does not have a publishing home, the Buckeyes are dealing with some bad CoVID news. Here's what Snook posted on his Facebook page this morning:

"Some bad news leaking from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center: At least one very prominent starter on offense and several others have tested positive and will miss Saturday’s Big Ten title game against Northwestern. I will not release the names. If the game would have to be canceled, it will not be rescheduled and Ohio State’s hopes for making the college football playoff probably would be gone."

Furthermore, SiriusXM's Rick Neuheisel is reporting this morning that an OSU "star wide receiver" has tested positive for CoVID, which would seem to indicate Chris Olave or Garrett Wilson. This report has not been confirmed.

At this time, it's not believed that this weekend's Big Ten Championship game is in jeopardy.

In the meantime, an Ohio State spokesperson confirmed to BuckeyesNow on Thursday that this week's Game Status Report won't be released until Saturday morning before the game. The report is typically scheduled for publication on Friday's around 10 a.m. This new protocol is similar to two weeks ago when the Buckeyes delayed the announcement of the report before the Michigan State game, when the report was published at roughly an hour before kickoff.

Ohio State does not publicly discuss specifics around individual players and coaches medical privacy, which includes discussing specific CoVID-19 information.

Report: Tom Herman Wants Out of Texas

The Buckeyes have gotten players back on the practice field who had tested positive before the Illinois game and those players should be available for Saturday's game. But anyone that tests positive from here on out could be in trouble. 

Read More

A College Football Playoff spokesman told the Toledo Blade that each team must continue to adhere to its conference's CoVID-19 guidelines if they qualify for the Playoff. 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.

21 days from today is January 7, which is six days after the national semifinals are scheduled to be played on New Years Day. 

Ryan Day said last week that the Big Ten has discussed the possibility of decreasing the 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 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.

This story will be updated if more information becomes available.

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