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Ryan Day says Ohio State Buckeyes ‘working their way back’ after COVID-19 quarantine protocols


#Ohio #State’s depth chart won’t have as many holes for #Friday’s #College #Football #Playoff semifinal at the #Sugar #Bowl, but coach #Ryan #Day said that doesn’t mean the #Buckeyes are back to full strength.

#Ohio #State was without several key players for the #Big #Ten championship game on #Dec. 19, including star receiver #Chris #Olave and linebacker #Baron #Browning, among 22 listed as out. #At the time, #Big #Ten protocols required anyone exposed to COVID-19 to spend 21 days in quarantine, but the league reduced that requirement following the #Buckeyes’ win over #Northwestern that secured a spot in the playoff.

The rule change means #Olave and others will be back on the field for #Friday’s game against the #Clemson #Tigers, but #Day said it’s impossible to gauge just how game-ready those players will be after most spent two weeks or more away from football activities.

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“#Full strength is a floating target right now,” #Day said #Thursday. “#Those guys who come off quarantine and isolation, they have a protocol to get back on the field. #You don’t just play football after not doing anything for nine or 10 days. #All those guys we were missing for the last month are working their way back. #We are getting a lot of guys back, but to say 100%, it’s different. The good news is they’re working their way back and getting stronger every day.”

#In addition, quarterback #Justin #Fields is dealing with a thumb injury that he suffered in a #Big #Ten title game that saw the worst passing performance of his career. #Day and #Fields both said earlier this week that #Fields should be fine by kickoff, but neither elaborated on the injury.

#And #Ohio #State isn’t quite out of the woods yet on COVID-19 concerns. #While the ACC’s testing protocols mean #Clemson has already tested for the last time, #Ohio #State still has two more rounds of PCR testing to go, including prior to #Thursday’s departure for #New #Orleans.

“#It’s a unique situation that we don’t have the same protocols going into the game, but I’m not going to spend time thinking about that,” #Day said. “I’m tired of that. #As long as the guys are healthy playing the game, that’s what matters. #We’ll have PCR before we get on the plane and go from there. #At the end of the day, the goal is to have a clean field, so we’ll follow the protocol that’s been set forth.”

#Clemson’s last round of testing turned up a positive test for offensive coordinator #Tony #Elliott, who did not travel with the team to #New #Orleans on #Wednesday.

#With #Elliott out for #Friday’s game, quarterbacks coach #Brandon #Streeter will assume playcalling duties and work from the coach’s box. #Coach #Dabo #Swinney said he would work more directly with quarterback #Trevor #Lawrence on the field, assuming a role similar to #Streeter’s typical game-day routine, while former #Clemson star C.J. #Spiller would work with the running backs, usually #Elliott’s position group.

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“#We’re certainly going to miss #Tony,” #Swinney said. “#But we’re well prepared, we have a great staff and … we’ll find out. #Ask me again after the game.”

#Swinney also said two players — one scholarship player and one walk-on — did not make the trip due to protocols. #Swinney did not name the players but said a full availability report would be released before the game.



[ source link ]
https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/30629163/ryan-day-says-ohio-state-buckeyes-working-their-way-back-covid-19-quarantine-protocols

##Ryan ##Day ##Ohio ##State ##Buckeyes #working #COVID19 #quarantine #protocols

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