Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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Eye Infection Sidelines Bob Costas; Matt Lauer Steps In

Costas has been dealing with an eye infection since the Olympics kicked off last week

By Cathy Rainone
|  Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014  |  Updated 9:19 AM PDT
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NBC's Bob Costas will be taking the day off from primetime Olympic coverage Tuesday because of an ongoing eye infection. Today show's Matt Lauer is relieving him.

"Reluctantly, I was trying to throw a complete game here, but I think we're going to have to go to the bullpen, and I don't know if you're aware of this or not, but you're Mariano Rivera, at least tonight,'' Costas told Lauer by phone on Tuesday.

Lauer sounded surprised: “So I’m stepping in for you tonight, the master of Olympic prime time?”

"Let's hope it's only tonight," Costas said. "I'm walking around, I might as well be playing 'Marco Polo.' I have no idea where I am."

Costas has been dealing with the eye infection since the Olympics kicked off last week. The infection, which started in his left eye, has now spread to his right eye. On Monday's broadcast, Costas' eyes appeared red and watery with his left eye nearly closed. The veteran anchor, who normally wears contacts on air, has been sporting a pair of glasses.

Despite his eye problem, Costas still managed to have some fun during Monday night's broadcast when sharing a drink with NBC analyst Mary Carillo.

"I'm not really that much of a vodka guy,'' Costas told Carillo. "I'm looking at it this way, though. My eyes can't get any redder, no matter what I do."

"By the way, I will be doing the shots of vodka starting in about 15 minutes,'' Lauer joked on Tuesday after learning he would be stepping in.

It’ll be the first time since 1998 that Costas won’t be hosting an Olympic broadcast in prime time, according to NBC Sports.

Costas had some advice for Lauer on Tuesday.

"Just remember, Tatyana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov,'' he said. "There's your Russian dancing pair. After that, you're on your own."

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