LSU vs. No. 10 Florida postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak in Gators football program

LSU vs. No. 10 Florida postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak in Gators football program
LSU hosted Florida in Tiger Stadium on Oct. 12, 2019. (Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WAFB) - The LSU vs. No. 10 Florida game scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium has been postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 within the Florida Gators football program, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin announced Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Stricklin said 18 scholarship players and three walk-on players on the Florida Gators football team have tested positive for COVID-19. That number, combined with the players that have also been quarantined as a precaution, would have left the Gators with fewer than 50 players on the roster for Saturday.

The game between LSU and Florida has tentatively been rescheduled to Dec. 12.

ORIGINAL STORY: Florida Gators football pausing team activities after 19 confirmed COVID-19 cases

“Late last week, they had what they thought were allergy type symptoms," said Stricklin. "One of them was congested. The other had headaches. And they did not report those symptoms because they didn’t think it was anything more than just seasonal-type cold that we experience with allergies or whatever. So, there’s a suspicion that maybe that is what helped make this an event that had this kind of spread.”

“Our priority is the health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff,” said LSU athletic director Scott Woodward. “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.”

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The program is still trying to confirm the source of the outbreak but Stricklin said it might have been those two players who made the trip to Texas A&M, even though they had what they thought were allergy symptoms on Friday, yet didn’t report those symptoms until after they got back from College Station.

Stricklin added both of those players eventually tested positive. The Gators had five positive tests Monday but they paused football activities because a number of other players were already experiencing symptoms by Sunday night. Stricklin also said there’s no timetable for restarting football workouts yet but normal testing will be done Thursday.

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher told the SEC Network the Aggies have no new positives since playing on the same field with Florida over the weekend.

On Monday, Oct. 12, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) postponed another game scheduled for Saturday between Vanderbilt and Missouri, LSU’s two previous opponents, due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Vanderbilt football program.

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