Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith and head coach Ryan Day said last Saturday that the Buckeyes are going to do everything they can to try and play this upcoming weekend against Michigan State.
While the Big Ten had three pieces of fairly substantial bad news on Monday morning from three different teams (links to those stories are posted below), a spokesperson for the Buckeyes offered some hope for Scarlet and Gray fans.
"Ohio State players not quarantined or in isolation did return to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for small group workouts today and throughout the day today. All meetings are being conducted virtually."
Step one for a potential return to action this weekend is to get back in the facility. There's still significant uncertainty that the team can be healthy enough to compete against Michigan State on Saturday, but this is a step in the right direction.
Remember, the Buckeyes chose to cancel last Saturday's game out of an abundance of caution with spiking case numbers. They were not required to cancel last week's game, they thought it was the right thing to not play. They haven't yet crossed the Big Ten mandatory shut down thresholds, which give Buckeye fans additional hope.
“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.”
A potential next step would be to put the pads back on and be back at full practice. Typically, Monday's are not full-padded practice days. In a normal week, Ohio State would be in pads for tough practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. We'll see if that is allowed to move forward this week. Day said on Saturday that he believes the team could be ready to go this weekend if they were at least able to have a good hard practice Thursday, go through a walk-through and travel on Friday ahead of Saturday's game in East Lansing.
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