Ohio State coach Ryan Day is one of several individuals on the team who has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Friday. He will not be able to coach the team as it travels to take on Illinois.
Per the Buckeyes’ release — which did not specify how many in the program produced a positive COVID-19 test — the team underwent point of contact (POC) testing early Friday and determined it is still able to play against the Fighting Illini on Saturday. The increased number of positive tests didn’t reach the threshold to cancel the game, per Big Ten Conference testing protocols.
Assistant head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. will serve as interim coach in Day’s absence. It will be his first game as acting head coach.
“I have spoken with Coach Day, and he is doing well physically,” Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith said. “I feel terrible for Coach and for the members of the program who have been diagnosed with a positive test. Coach Day and this team have been true leaders in handling things so well throughout this pandemic. Our team wants to play this game, and we’re going to do everything we can to help make this happen. All of the decisions on the welfare of our student-athletes and staff members will continue to be guided by our medical staff.”
Ohio State, out of an “abundance of caution,” also announced it would delay its flight to Champaign, Ill., until early Saturday. The team will undergo extra polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing Friday, ensuring everyone who travels to Illinois is confirmed negative for the coronavirus.
No. 3 Ohio State (4-0) will take on Illinois (2-3) at noon ET on Fox Sports 1.
Below’s everything you need to know about Day and his coronavirus positive:
How long is Ryan Day out with COVID-19?
Per Big Ten coronavirus testing protocols, Day will face a 10-day isolation period before he can return to coach. He will miss Saturday’s game at Illinois and, depending on when he produced the positive test, could also miss the Michigan State game on Dec. 5. That is assuming, of course, he does not exhibit any symptoms.
Ohio State declined to specify when Day produced a positive test.
Ryan Day COVID-19 News
Nov. 27: Ohio State announces Day is one of several individuals on the team to test positive for coronavirus; says he will miss Illinois game.