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Bob Costas Takes Night Off From Olympic Coverage as Eye Infection Spreads, Matt Lauer Fills In

Bob Costas, Matt Lauer, Sochi Olympics NBC

Bob Costas (and those glasses) put up a good fight, but the eye infection he's been fighting has spread, forcing him to take a break Tuesday from covering the Olympic Games in Sochi.

Fortunately, Matt Lauer is able to save the day and will be filling in for Costas during tonight's coverage of the winter games on NBC. Costas broke the news on Today, adding, "I'm looking at it this way, though. My eyes can't get any redder, no matter what I do." 

And, no—a certain Russian alcohol of choice isn't going to be a quick-fix for Costas, who describes himself as "not really that much of a vodka guy." Lauer, however, joked Tuesday, "By the way, I will be doing the shots of vodka starting in about 15 minutes."

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Really, though, Costas—and his eyes—are in need of a night off.  "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,'' he told Lauer on Today.  "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.'' 

His only advice for his Olympic coverage sub? "Just remember, Tatyana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov,'' Costas said. "There's your Russian dancing pair. After that, you're on your own."

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Lauer can handle it, but he does "feel bad for [Costas]," telling 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." 

You'll make him proud, Lauer! Just make sure to disinfect all potentially germy surfaces and bring your own pair of hipster glasses.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Be sure to tune in to our coverage from Sochi on E!

(Today and E! are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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