By Hillary Busis
February 11, 2014 at 03:14 PM EST

The pinkos have finally won.

By that, of course, I’m referring to Bob Costas’s red-rimmed eyes — inflamed with an infection that’s plagued NBC’s lead Olympic commentator since the network’s coverage of the Sochi Winter Games began last week. (The infection started in Costas’s left eye and has subsequently spread to his right.)

Though Costas has soldiered on despite his ailment — even gamely downing a glass of vodka with Mary Carillo night — the Peacock announced Tuesday that the sportscaster is finally stepping aside, at least for one night. Costas will be taking the day off from coverage; Today anchor Matt Lauer will fill in for him during NBC’s primetime broadcast.

At least Costas’s sense of humor is fully intact. “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 Today this morning. “Let’s hope it’s only tonight. Because right now, I’m walking around, I might as well be playing Marco Polo. I have no idea where I am.”

And Lauer, too, is prepared for the challenge ahead: “By the way,” he quipped on Today, “I will be doing the shots of vodka starting in about 15 minutes.”