Ohio State's football game at Illinois is potentially in limbo, according to Dave Biddle of Bucknuts.
Biddle is reporting that multiple Ohio State football players have tested positive for COVID-19. Further, a source told Eleven Warriors that the team is dealing with a single-digit number of positive cases.
The Woody Hayes Athletic Center was open today for practice and meetings, but a source tells Eleven Warriors that the team went through a walk-through practice on Wednesday instead of being in full pads after learning of the positive test results.
The No. 4-ranked Buckeyes have already had one game canceled this season after the Maryland program was infiltrated by the virus. Beyond the scope of playing this weekend, the major concern for Ohio State is playing (and winning) enough games to qualify for the Big Ten championship game on Dec. 19 in Indianapolis. At the moment, the threshold set by the league is six games. The only way it falls below that is if the average number of games played falls below six per team, which is not currently in danger of happening.
The Buckeyes remaining schedule includes a Dec. 5 showdown in East Lansing against Michigan State and a Dec. 12 contest against Michigan at Ohio Stadium.
What would constitute a cancellation on Saturday? According to Big Ten policy, the Buckeyes would have to halt team activities for one week if the team positivity rate exceeds five percent and the population positivity rate exceeds 7.5 percent. As of Wednesday, team activities continue.
The university policy is not to release the names of any players or staff members if/when they test positive for the virus, nor will the school comment on the matter. So it's unclear how many people are affected and to what extent the team is dealing with it. The Big Ten stipulates that a player must sit out 21 days before returning to the field after a positive test.
The Buckeyes release a game status report on Fridays, typically around 10 a.m. each week ahead of the game. That report lists which players are game-time decisions and which players are unavailable for that week's contest, but it doesn't get any more specific than that.
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