Ohio State defensive linemen Tyreke Smith (11, sacking Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence) and Tommy Togiai (#72) against Clemson on Jan. 1.

Just over an hour before kickoff of the CFP national championship game Monday, the Ohio State Buckeyes released a list of 13 players unavailable for that game. As discussed previously, Ohio State doesn’t differentiate between illness, injury or other reasons with this list, so it’s not clear why everyone is there. However, the Buckeyes have had reported COVID-19 issues on the defensive line in particular, which even prompted some discussion of moving the championship back a week (which, of course, ultimately didn’t happen). And the unavailable report here features two notable defensive line starters, tackle Tommy Togiai (#72 above) and end Tyreke Smith (#11 above, seen hitting Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence), plus two kickers (including primary kicker Blake Haubeil, who previously revealed on Instagram he had tested positive for COVID-19):

For comparison, the 13 players listed here are less than the 17 who were unavailable for Ohio State’s Sugar Bowl semifinal game on Jan. 1 against Clemson. However, the absences of Togiai and Smith are particularly notable, as both were regular starters this year; Togiai posted 12 solo tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble this season, while Smith had seven solo tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. We’ll see how their replacements (possibly including Zach Harrison and Tyler Friday, who weren’t available against Clemson, but are back now) do against Alabama. We’ll also see how the Buckeyes’ kicking game does; without Haubeil and DiMaccio, they look set to rely on freshman Jake Seibert, who went 0/1 on field goal attempts this year and 13-for-13 on point-after attempts.

[Eleven Warriors; photo via Adam Cairns/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.