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Shorthanded Due To COVID-19, Ohio State Resumes Competition Against Michigan State

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields throws a pass against Indiana during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio.
Jay LaPrete
/
Associated Press
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields throws a pass against Indiana during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are packing up for a trip to East Lansing to play Michigan State after having to cancel last week’s game against Illinois. 

Fourth-ranked Ohio State sits atop the Big Ten standings and is hoping to move even closer to qualifying for the conference championship game. But they’ll face the Michigan State Spartans shorthanded.

Head coach Ryan Day will remain in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 last week. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson will lead the team in his absence – the first Black coach ever to lead the Buckeyes.

Ohio State will be missing other staffers and some players as well, but the team is not revealing who or how many.

In a press release, team doctor Jim Borchers says he is “very confident that we are heading to East Lansing with a team that can safely compete.” He says the positivity rate has declined to a level that allows the team to play under the Big 10 conference's rules.

However, Ohio State has refused to share either its current or previous positivity rates.

Ohio State is scheduled to play its annual rivalry game against the University of Michigan on December 12, but that game is now in jeopardy: The Associated Press reports at least a dozen positive COVID-19 cases at Michigan forced the cancellation of their game this weekend against Maryland.