Ohio State football: Buckeyes players out for National Championship due to COVID-19 protocol

Blake Haubeil, Ohio State Buckeyes. (Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports)
Blake Haubeil, Ohio State Buckeyes. (Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Ohio State Buckeyes will have a few key players out tonight due to COVID-19.

While Ohio State football fans are excited about their Buckeyes playing in the 2021 National Championship game on Monday night, they must realize their favorite team will be a bit short-handed due to COVID-19.

Running back Miyan Williams and offensive lineman Dawand Jones did not make the trip to Miami for the national title bout. Pass-rusher Tyreke Smith and starting defensive tackle Tommy Togai are also speculated to be out as well. Ohio State alum and college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit hinted that more major absences could be looming, but couldn’t reveal that information as of this writing.

Hours before kickoff, kicker Blake Haubeil sent out an emotional message on Instagram about how frustrated and upset he is that he cannot play on Monday night. Ohio State is a nine-point underdog vs. the Alabama Crimson Tide in the national championship.

Does a depleted Buckeyes team have a chance vs. juggernaut Alabama?

For those who say Ohio State should not even be here, this is a team that defeated the No. 2 Clemson Tigers soundly on New Year’s Day in the Sugar Bowl. Everybody and their brother knew that Clemson was going to spank Ohio State. . .until the Tigers did not. As for Ohio State, do the Buckeyes have another upset special inside of them, even if they are down a few key players?

If Ohio State is to pull off the monumental upset, quarterback Justin Fields will have to play the game of his life again. Alabama is led by 2020 Heisman Trophy-winning wide receiver DeVonta Smith and their high-octane offense. Ohio State cannot fall behind early if the Buckeyes want to be national champions for the second time in the College Football Playoff era.

Only one game is left before the end of the season, so anything could happen down in Miami.

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