With two weeks until Kentucky vs. Auburn, COVID-19 continues to impact both squads, particularly the Tigers.
Following Auburn’s third scrimmage this afternoon, head coach Gus Malzahn told reporters that two more players had tested positive for coronavirus in the latest round of testing, which will sideline ten total players due to the close contact. Of those ten, Malzahn said five are starters. Auburn’s protocols call for players to quarantine for at least 17 days following a positive COVID-19 test, including a 10-day isolation period and 7-day re-acclimation period before being cleared to return to action. Players who were in close contact with a positive case must quarantine for two weeks. Malzahn did not disclose the names or position groups, but admitted he is concerned as the clock ticks down to the season opener vs. Kentucky.
“The issue is that we’re two weeks away from our first opponent,” Malzahn said, via AL.com. “And we’re going to really focus on our gameplan. If you don’t have those guys for the gameplan, you get them the week of the game, I mean, it’s just reps, preparation reps that’s a challenge…. We talked about it before. And it’s a learning experience. And if it happens in the season, you’ve just got to adjust.”
Meanwhile, if you missed Roush’s article earlier, Mark Stoops said after today’s scrimmage that a few of his position groups have been impacted by the coronavirus and subsequent contact tracing.
“It is an issue. I wouldn’t say it’s been a major issue for us to this point. I did have to alter portions of the scrimmage today because of that, but we still got a lot of good work in and got the players the necessary work. It definitely is different having to manage that.”
Stoops didn’t give out numbers, but we know that six players reported to campus with antibodies back in June and three players tested positive for the virus the week classes began on campus.
Instead of crossing my fingers until kickoff, I’ll be washing my hands and wearing my mask.