Florida-LSU football game postponed due to coronavirus outbreak among Gators players, coaches

Saturday’s SEC game between LSU and Florida has been postponed after an increase in positive COVID tests among Florida football players and coaches.

One day after Florida football paused activities after an increase in positive COVID-19 tests among players, Saturday’s game vs. LSU has been postponed.

The news of the postponement was first reported by Brooks Kubena of The Advocate.

Dec. 12 is being eyed as the tentative date to reschedule the game. Florida’s Oct. 24 game with Missouri is also in question due to the 10-day isolation rule for positives and 14 days for close contact.

“Our priority is the health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff,” LSU Director of Athletics Scott Woodward said. “The decision to reschedule the game comes as a result of close coordination and cooperation with the University of Florida and SEC officials and we are in full support. It is disappointing for everyone, but prudent. We wish all those at Florida who may be impacted the very best.”

The initial report from Florida was that five players tested positive, but according to The Athletic, the number of positive cases from Gators players is 19 with an additional 10 players in quarantine. Further, Florida head coach Dan Mullen added on Wednesday that two assistant coaches tested positive and were asymptomatic.

Florida vs. LSU postponed due to COVID outbreak among Gators players, coaches

SEC rules require at least 53 scholarship players to be available but below that threshold meets the guidelines for a game to be canceled or postponed. Stricklin said 18 scholarship players and three walk-ons are positive so combined with those in contact tracing as well as those dealing with injuries and Florida has fewer than 50 scholarship players healthy to play vs. LSU.

In 2020, there have already been more than a dozen games postponed or canceled, including Vanderbilt vs. Missouri in the SEC which was also scheduled for this week. And in the Big 12, this week has seen the postponement of the Baylor vs. Oklahoma State game on Monday.

During his SEC coaches call on Wednesday, LSU football coach Ed Orgeron was bracing for the inevitable postponement, citing player safety.

“Obviously 2020 is what we’re dealing with,” Orgeron said. “I really think that the safety of the kids is the primary focus this week. So, if it’s safe for us to play, we’re going to play. If the best thing is for us not to play, we shouldn’t play.”

The news of the postponement due to Florida’s outbreak comes days after Gators head coach Dan Mullen called for fans to pack The Swamp for the home-field advantage that Texas A&M had when they defeated the Gators in Kyle Field.

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