Feb. 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM ET
Bob Costas announced on Tuesday 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.
He's been struggling with an infection since Olympics coverage began. Costas, who does not normally wear glasses, has been sporting a pair since the beginning of the Sochi Games due to an infection that started in his left eye and has now spread to his right eye. The TODAY anchors saw him early in the morning in Russia on Tuesday, and Costas said he was doing "even worse" since then.
"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 live on TODAY Tuesday. "Let's hope it's only tonight. I'm walking around, I might as well be playing 'Marco Polo.' I have no idea where I am.''
"I just feel bad for him,'' Lauer told TODAY.com. "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."
Costas had some quick advice for Lauer in filling in for him on Tuesday.
"Just remember, Tatyana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov,'' he said. "There's your Russian dancing pair. After that, you're on your own."
Costas was a good sport about his eye issues during Monday night's broadcast when he went to toast a vodka 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 fill in.