According to a report from John Talty and Matt Zenitz of AL.com, there is a possibility Monday’s national championship game between Ohio State and Alabama could be pushed back a week due to COVID-19 concerns.
According to the report, “Ohio State has informed key parties involved it could be without a position group due to COVID-19 testing and related protocols.”
Inside the walls of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, the plan is to play on Monday, though Buckeye Scoop can confirm preliminary discussions were had regarding moving the date of the game.
The College Football Playoff has set aside Monday, January 18 as a makeup date should the need arise, but at this point, the original January 11 date is the target.
“I can tell you there are no changes,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN. “The game is scheduled for January 11th as planned and we look forward to it.”
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith also spoke with ESPN, echoing similar sentiments so far.
“We’re following the same protocols we followed all season long,” Smith told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. “We intend to play on January 11th, and we continue to communicate with the Big Ten and now the CFP, so at this point in time, we see the game being played. But who knows what tomorrow will bring? That’s COVID. We’re on track right now.”
So far, enough systems are go that Ohio State plans to play on Monday. Even as a new year dawns, however, 2020’s shadow still looms large.