Reports: Alabama-LSU in doubt after Tigers’ COVID outbreak
Saturday’s SEC West battle between LSU and No. 1 Alabama is in danger of postponement after a COVID-19 outbreak in the Tigers’ program, multiple media outlets reported Monday.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron confirmed Monday that his program has a number of players who have tested positive for COVID-19, or are in quarantine protocols after contact tracing.
“We are dealing with COVID and contact tracing. I can’t go into detail. It’s a very fluid situation,” Orgeron said.
On Monday, The Athletic reported that LSU currently has no available tight ends or long snappers, and just one scholarship quarterback, freshman T.J. Finley. The Athletic reported that the SEC is expected to decide on the status of the Saturday game in the next 24 hours.
The SEC requires teams to have at least 53 scholarship players available to play, including one quarterback, seven offensive linemen and four defensive linemen. The Athletic reported that LSU’s current overall scholarship number was in the “mid-60s” before the recent outbreak due to transfers, opt-outs and other miscellaneous reasons.
Orgeron wouldn’t comment on the status of the game with Alabama.
“I will let the doctors and (LSU athletic director Scott Woodward) handle that stuff,” Orgeron said.
In addition to discussing COVID concerns, Orgeron said Monday that if the game is played, quarterback Myles Brennan will not be available as he continues to recover from an abdominal injury.
Brennan has not played since suffering the injury on Oct. 10 at Missouri. Orgeron said there has been a discussion about shutting down the starting QB for the rest of the season.
“We’re going to do what’s best for him,” Orgeron said. “Whether it’s getting it fixed, getting it operated now or wait. I think we’re still discussing that.”
LSU, the defending College Football Playoff champion, has had a rocky 2020 season. The Tigers sit at 2-3 and already have had one game this season pushed back. An October game against Florida was moved to Dec. 12 as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak with the Gators. That date, Dec. 12, is the only make-up date available for the program this season.
Alabama (6-0) lost at home to the Tigers a year ago when LSU ended an eight-game skid against its division rival with a 46-41 win in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide moved up to No. 1 this week after Notre Dame knocked off top-ranked Clemson in double overtime on Saturday.
–Field Level Media