Ohio State Returns to Practice Ahead of Scheduled Trip to Michigan State

By Dan Hope on December 1, 2020 at 1:46 pm
Larry Johnson

The Buckeyes are back on the practice field.

Ohio State resumed organized team activities at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Tuesday afternoon in preparation to play Michigan State on Saturday, Ohio State said in a statement Tuesday. The return to practice ended a four-day pause on team activities that went into effect on Friday night due to an increase in COVID-19 cases within the program.

Ohio State typically begins its practice week on Tuesday, so as long as the Buckeyes can continue to avoid positive tests this week, they're on track to have a full week of preparation and make the trip to East Lansing to play the Spartans on Saturday at noon (ABC). An Ohio State spokesperson said the program will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation on a daily basis to determine whether it is safe to continue practicing and ultimately play on Saturday.

Assuming the Buckeyes are able to play on Saturday, they will be without head coach Ryan Day – who has to remain in isolation until Monday after testing positive for COVID-19 last Friday – and an unspecified number of players who won't be allowed to play for 21 days, per Big Ten policy, after testing positive last week. 

Ohio State has not specified how many players have tested positive or whether there have been any additional positive cases since Friday, but it is known that at least 13 Tier I individuals in the program – which include 120 players and 50 coaches and other staff who are around the team regularly – have tested positive, as team doctor Jim Borchers said Saturday that the team had gone above the 7.5% population positivity threshold.

Defensive line coach and associate head coach Larry Johnson is set to serve as Ohio State's head coach for Saturday's game.

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