Bob Costas asks Matt Lauer to fill in during Olympic coverage for worsening eye infection

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Bob Costas, who has been your NBC Olympic evening host, will be taking the night off Tuesday.

According to, Costas has been struggling with the ongoing eye infection since the Olympics began.

Mike Pratt, an Olympic viewer, said, “He’s the voice of the Olympics. He always has been.”

This year, Bob Costas is becoming known for more than just his reporting.

Pratt said, “We were watching the Olympics, we noticed they were far away shots, no close-ups and he was wearing glasses in all of them.”

On the first night of coverage, the NBC anchor poked fun at himself saying, “I woke up this morning with my left eye swollen shut and just about as red as the old Soviet flag.”

Costas had hoped the infection would clear up by the weekend, but it did not. reported the infection started in his left eye and has now spread to the right.

By Monday night, both eyes were swollen and had developed a following on social media.

Dr. Don Stone, with the Dean McGee Eye Institute, said, “It’s ironic that this has gone viral because most pink eye or infectious cases of conjunctivitis are caused by a virus.”

There are thousands of tweets about Costas’ eyes.

Most poke fun at the poor guy but many tweeters are also sending their sympathies.

On Tuesday morning, Costas asked for a little help on the Today Show.

Costas, on the Today Show, said, “I was trying to throw a complete game here but I think we’re going to have to go to the bullpen.”

He asked Matt Lauer to step in because his eyes are only getting worse.

Costas said, “I’m walking around, I might as well be playing ‘Marco Polo.’ I have no idea where I am.”

Doctors say eye infections can be bacterial or viral.

If it’s viral, Costas could be struggling with painful, itchy eyes for a few weeks rather than just a few days.

Dr. Stone said, “The eye is so tender that any infection of the eye can cause a tremendous amount of pain.”

It’s an unfortunate infection for a man in the public eye.

Dr. Stone said, “We hope he’s getting good treatment and being taken care of.”

NBC has not said what type of eye infection Costas is dealing with or how long he could be out of the coverage.

You can see full Olympic coverage starting on NewsChannel 4 at 2 p.m. and then again at 7 p.m.

MORE: Get full details anytime at the NewsChannel 4 NBC Olympic Zone here


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