Ohio State linebacker Justin Hilliard to miss road opener at Penn State

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State linebacker Justin Hilliard (47) celebrates a tackle in a 2018 game against Michigan.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Ohio State linebacker Justin Hilliard will be unavailable for the Buckeyes in their game at Penn State on Saturday night, a team spokesman confirmed.

About an hour ahead of kickoff, Lettermen Row reported Hilliard’s absence is due to conflicting COVID-19 test results.

Players went through rapid antigen testing earlier Saturday, which led to a positive test for Hilliard, followed by a negative test, according to the website.

Due to privacy concerns, Ohio State has not disclosed testing results of players this season.

Teams are required to have a team positivity rate under 5% in order to play under the Big Ten’s established protocols for the coronavirus.

Hilliard did not appear in the Buckeyes’ season-opening win over Nebraska last weekend for undisclosed reasons, but participated in pregame warmups.

Before traveling to State College for the road opener at Penn State, Hilliard was not among the 10 players who were listed as unavailable on the status report.

A sixth-year senior, he has been expected to split reps with Baron Browning at strong-side linebacker.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman