Game on for Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan State

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Dr. Borchers says team can compete safely one week after cancellation

One week after receiving bad news on Friday, the cancellation of their game at Illinois, the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes got good news on Friday. They will travel to East Lansing, Mich., on Friday night and play at Michigan State at noon Saturday.

“We are very confident that we are heading to East Lansing with a team that can safely compete and whose health, safety and well-being has been our utmost concern,” said Dr. Jim Borchers, the team physician. “We’ve tested, monitored and evaluated our results daily and have advised the student-athletes, coaches and performance staff accordingly. Our population positivity rate, which exceeded the threshold for participation at this time last week, has now returned on the seven-day rolling average to a level that allows us to compete safely this weekend.”

Ohio State (4-0) has seen two games cancelled because of COVID-19. It was unable to play at Maryland because of positive COVID-19 tests within the Terrapins program earlier in the season.

Ohio State paused football activities last week because of rising COVID-19 numbers and returned to workouts Tuesday.

“Ohio State’s successful and safe return to the playing field began after the cancellation of its game against Illinois last weekend as all team related activities were paused for two days following an increase in positive tests within the program,” Ohio State announced. “Risk mitigation efforts, such as virtual team meetings and small group workouts, were reinforced as the team returned to activities at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

“Ohio State’s team medical staff, under the direction of Dr. Jim Borchers, increased and enhanced COVID-19 testing this week. The team continues to be tested daily, in adherence with Big Ten Conference protocols, and has enhanced its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing surveillance throughout the week.”

Head coach Ryan Day, who tested positive last week, remains in isolation and won’t travel to the game. He can return to on-field coaching Monday. Larry Johnson, an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, will serve as interim head coach Saturday.

Head coach Ryan Day remains in isolation and will not travel to the game. He can resume on-field coaching on Monday. Assistant head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson will serve as interim head coach of the Buckeyes on Saturday.

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