LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville has paused all football activities and its Saturday game at Virginia has been postponed at least a week due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra told reporters Wednesday night the program has 10 players who have tested positive for COVID-19 and five players who were in quarantine because of contact tracing. Five support staff members also tested positive and two others are in quarantine.
The AD said no coaching staff members have tested positive.
“While the number of players probably isn’t as high as you heard from other programs that have taken a pause,” Tyra said, “we felt it was necessary due to the fact that the support staff had tested positive. They worked closely with our players in the training room and in the equipment area.
“Obviously, (with) a hands-on approach in terms of working with them, that gave us concern and we felt like we needed to take a timeout here.”
Nine Louisville players, mostly on defense, were held out of last week’s 42-35 loss to Virginia Tech. Coach Scott Satterfield said afterward that some of the absences were COVID-19-related.
Tyra said the latest testing left the Cardinals down to three scholarship players on defense.
“I think we were trying to figure out, like most, how to scheme around it,” Tyra said. “Our coaching staff was already on that path. And then with more positives showing up again in the same same area of the defense, that stressed us a bit.”
Test results from both Friday and Sunday will determine when team activities resume. Louisville (2-5, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) and Virginia (2-4, 2-4) both have byes on Nov. 14, allowing the game to be pushed back to that date.
It’s the third FBS game postponed this week and the 40th since Aug. 26th. It is the second time this season Virginia has had an opponent that needed to postpone. The Cavaliers’ September game against Virginia Tech has been pushed back to Dec. 12.
California’s season-opening game Saturday night against Washington is in jeopardy following a positive coronavirus test Wednesday on the Golden Bears that has caused what coach Justin Wilcox said is a “significant” number of players needing contact tracing.
Wilcox said that Cal’s athletic department was in contact with Washington officials Wednesday night about the game scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. PST kickoff at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.
“If it is feasible for us to play we are going to play the game,” Wilcox said on a Zoom call. “Are there hurdles? There are hurdles, yes. With the players in question the game is in jeopardy. If we have the bodies available to play the game we will play the game. Several people are being held out and that’s a legitimate threat to the game.”
Wednesday’s practice was limited and some team drills were not doable based on the number of players held out. Wilcox wouldn’t specify how many players were sidelined. The player with a positive COVID-19 test is asymptomatic.