Georgia is now within the two-week window of its season-opening game against Arkansas. Always a critical period in preseason football preparations, it is particularly important now in the age of COVID-19. Players who test positive for the coronavirus now – and others that have been exposed to infected teammates will have to enter a quarantine period of 14 days. Those players would, of course, miss the Sept. 26 game in Fayetteville.
Coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday night the Bulldogs have no players out at the moment. But as UGA continues to test its athletes two and three times a week, there remains a high probability that players might have to miss. I have no clue right now of any for sure outs, Smart said Tuesday. We don’t have anybody that is going to be out.
If that holds up, then Georgia is doing better than a lot of SEC teams. Two weeks ago, Tennessee had to scrap a scheduled scrimmage because 44 players were sidelined either because of positive tests or exposures. Auburn, which plays at Georgia in Week 2, had 10 players miss its scrimmage this past weekend because of COVID-related issues. That was after the Tigers had to cancel a practice the previous week because too many players were out.
On Tuesday, LSU coach Ed Orgeron told reporters that most of his players had tested positive for the virus at one point or another. Hopefully they’re not out for games, Orgeron said. Hopefully that once you catch it, you don’t get it again. But I’m not a doctor.
Later, Orgeron was admonished by LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward for being too transparent and too forthright. As the SEC gets closer to starting its delayed football season next week, vagueness remains the preference. While all 14 football programs are required to report their weekly testing results to the league office, the SEC has not shared that information publicly.