Bob Costas Eye Infection Forces Him to Take a Day Off with Matt Lauer Filling in

Bob Costas Pink Eye

If you have been watching the 2014 Olympic coverage since the Opening Ceremonies, you would notice Bob Costas eye problem getting worse with each night.

It all started with a noticeably swollen and red left eye when he made his 2014 Sochi Olympics debut on Thursday before NBC aired footage from the first day of events.

He addressed the eye problem early in the broadcast, “Bear with me for a moment as I spare my friends in the press office countless inquiries,” Costas said. “I have no choice to go all ‘Peabody and Sherman’ on you for the next couple of nights since I woke up this morning with my left eye swollen shut and just about as red as the old Soviet flag. According to the NBC doctors here, it’s some kind of minor infection which should resolve itself by the weekend. If only all my issues would resolve themselves that quickly, but that’s another story.”

Unfortunately, as with most eye infections, his spread to both eyes. On Tuesday morning, Bob Costas announced on the Today Show that his eye infection will force him to miss Tuesday night’s primetime performance and Today host Matt Lauer will be keeping his seat warm until he can return.

For the first time since 1988, with a streak of 157 consecutive primetime appearances for the NBC’s Olympic coverage between the Summer and Winter Games, Bob Costas will not host NBC’s Olympic primetime coverage.

“It was becoming increasingly noticeable and uncomfortable, but if it was just that, I would have continued,” Costas said. “We in broadcasting are lucky to have the jobs we do, and at one time or another, we’ve all gone on the air feeling less than our best. The difference is that last night and into this morning, it got to the point where, as a practical matter, I simply couldn’t do my job because my eyes had become so blurry, watery and sensitive to light.”

“If it was just discomfort, I’d be there. I’m receiving excellent treatment…it’s a viral infection, and all you can do is try to manage the symptoms while the virus runs its course. But I’m hopeful that those symptoms will improve in the next couple of days and I can return to the broadcast.”

“Bob has been a real trooper, but needs a night off. We’re fortunate to have such incredible talent to draw upon within the NBCU family, including Matt, someone I’ve worked with for many years,” said NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell. “Now I know how Chuck Daly felt with the 1992 Dream Team, substituting one Hall of Famer for another.”

“I saw Bob in the hotel this morning, and if ever there was a guy who looked like he needed a night off, it was him. I feel bad for him,” Lauer told Today. “He looks forward to these Games for so long, and he’s the best that’s ever done it. If he could be in that seat, he’d be in that seat.”

Matt Lauer added, “I’m happy to keep his chair warm. Although I might Purell it before I sit in it!”

When asked if he had any tips for Lauer, Costas gave him one.

“Just remember, Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov,” Costas said, sounding out the names slowly. “There’s your Russian dancing pair.”

Bob Costas Eye Problem

If you’ve been watching the Olympics, you’ve noticed Bob Costas’ glasses to hide an eye infection which has now spread to BOTH of his eyes.

Bob Costas Eye Infection, Matt Lauer Fills in

Bob Costas announced on TODAY that he will be taking the day off from Olympic coverage, calling in Matt Lauer from the “bullpen,” to fill in for him due to an ongoing eye infection.

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