LSU’s season has not gone as planned, and now the Tigers have a new hurdle to manage as they’re dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. The Tigers’ game against Florida earlier in the season was already postponed and now their game against Alabama this Saturday appears to be in jeopardy.
While head coach Ed Orgeron did not state the exact number of positive tests there are within the football program, he did say “the numbers are high.”
“We are dealing with COVID and contact tracing I can’t go into detail. It’s a very fluid situation,” Orgeron said, according to 247 Sports. “We do have some players who have COVID and have some players in quarantine.”
“It started last week,” Orgeron said. “Probably Tuesday or Wednesday, I was told of some guys who had COVID. And the numbers are high because of the quarantine. That’s when you get into the low (scholarship) numbers.”
As far as where the outbreak stems from, Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported that a party around Halloween played a big role.
Team is very thin at defensive back and quarterback.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) November 9, 2020
The SEC protocols require a team to have at least 53 healthy scholarship players heading into a game while NCAA guidelines require anyone that tests positive sit out for 10 days and have three days without symptoms before returning to the field. Those individuals who fall into the ‘high risk’ contact tracing from those infected must sit out for 14 days.
LSU certainly isn’t the only team in the SEC dealing with an outbreak at the moment. The Mississippi State-Auburn game set for Saturday has been postponed as the Bulldogs are dealing with an outbreak of their own. Florida dealt with an outbreak earlier in the season as well.
LSU and Alabama are scheduled to play in Baton Rouge on Saturday at 6:00 PM EST.