Bob Costas again on the sidelines for Wednesday Olympic coverage

Jay Busbee
The Today Show Gallery of Olympians
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 06: (BROADCAST-OUT) Matt Lauer reoprts for the NBC TODAY Show in the Rosa Khutor Mountain Village ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 6, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Bob Costas remains on the disabled list, and Matt Lauer will once again get the start for NBC in its primetime Olympic coverage.

Costas' eye infection has been one of the prime stories of the first week of the Sochi Games, and obviously was not improved by taking a night off on Tuesday. Costas had anchored a remarkable 157 consecutive Olympics telecasts dating back to 1988. Ever the baseball historian, Costas compared Lauer's appearance to retired Yankee reliever Mariano Rivera. He'd better hope that another Yankee reference, to Lou Gehrig supplanting Wally Pipp and playing for more than 2,100 consecutive games, doesn't come to pass.

[Related: Bob Costas' eye infection looks a whole lot worse]

"I just feel bad for him," Lauer told "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." On a local Colorado telecast, Lauer jokingly blamed Russian president Vladimir Putin for infecting Costas.

"As a practical matter, I simply couldn’t do my job because my eyes had become so blurry, watery and sensitive to light,” Costas said in a statement on Tuesday. “I’m hopeful the symptoms will improve in the next couple of days and I can return to the broadcast. Also, the last thing I want is to go through the rest of my life owing Matt Lauer a bunch of favors.”

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter.