Nov 14, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars players celebrate after the game against the South Florida Bulls at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston-SMU, Navy-USF ppd. due to COVID-19 issues

Houston’s game at SMU and Navy’s contest at South Florida this weekend have been postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases among the Cougars’ and Bulls’ programs, the American Athletic Conference said Wednesday.

The postponement of Saturday’s tilt marks the fifth time that Houston (3-3, 3-2 AAC) has had a game canceled or moved due to COVID-19 issues. The previous four occasions dealt with concerns involving the Cougars’ opponents.

“The health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff remains our top priority,” Houston vice president for athletics Chris Pezman said. “Postponing a game is not an easy decision to make, but we appreciate the collaborative approach from SMU and the American Athletic Conference as we worked through this decision. We are also very appreciative of the continued care of our medical staff and athletic trainers, who have worked tirelessly throughout this season.”

As for SMU (7-2, 4-2), its game against TCU on Sept. 11 was canceled because of coronavirus issues.

Navy (3-4, 3-2) had its scheduled game against Temple on Sept. 26 altered due to COVID-19 issues. That game was played on Oct. 10, with the Midshipmen posting a 31-29 victory.

Navy’s games against Tulsa on Nov. 7 and Memphis on Nov. 14 were also postponed. No makeup dates for either game has been announced.

USF (1-7, 0-6) had its Sept. 26 game against Florida Atlantic postponed due to the virus. A makeup date for either game has yet to be announced.

–Field Level Media

Sep 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Rice Owls wide receiver Austin Trammell (10) catches a pass out of bounds against the Baylor Bears cornerback Raleigh Texada (13) in the second half at Rice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

UTSA COVID-19 issues lead to postponement vs. Rice

Saturday’s contest between Texas-San Antonio and host Rice was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the UTSA program, the two Conference USA schools announced Friday.

Officials from both UTSA (4-4, 2-2 C-USA) and Rice (1-1, 1-1) will work with conference officials to reschedule the game.

“We are certainly disappointed that we have had to make the difficult decision to postpone Saturday’s game with Rice,” UTSA athletic director Lisa Campos said in a statement. “Throughout the pandemic, our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and community.

“We are extremely grateful to the leadership at Rice University and Conference USA for maintaining an open and understanding line of communication, and we look forward to being able to return to competition safely.”

Rice athletic director Joe Karlgaard understood the reasoning for the postponement.

“After a great win last week at Southern Miss, I know our team was excited to get back on the field at home and renew the series with UTSA,” Karlgaard said. “But the virus remains a constant challenge to our efforts to play this season.”

Four of the seven Conference USA games for Saturday have been either postponed or canceled.

The contest between Charlotte and Middle Tennessee also was postponed on Friday. Earlier in the week, the game between Florida International and UTEP was canceled and the matchup between Louisiana Tech and North Texas was postponed.

Earlier this week, Conference USA rescheduled seven postponed games for the time period of Dec. 5-12.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte 49ers head coach Will Healy during the first quarter of the game against the Charlotte 49ers at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte-Middle Tennessee PPD due to COVID-19

Charlotte postponed Saturday’s Conference USA game at Middle Tennessee due to a cluster of COVID-19 cases in the 49ers’ program.

Charlotte athletic director Mike Hill made the announcement Friday and said the schools are hoping to reschedule the contest.

“We are extremely disappointed to have to postpone our game at Middle Tennessee. Our coaching staff and players were looking forward to the Conference USA matchup,” Hill said. “The health and safety of everyone involved, however, remains the top priority during these challenging times.”

It is the fourth game Charlotte has either canceled or postponed.

The next game scheduled for the 49ers (2-3, 2-1 C-USA) is at home against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 14. The Blue Raiders (2-5, 2-3) are set to play the same day at No. 16 Marshall.

On Wednesday, Conference USA rescheduled seven games that were postponed earlier in the season. One of those was Charlotte’s Oct. 17 home game against Florida International that now will be played Dec. 5.

–Field Level Media

Oct 20, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans logo spelled out in the visitors seating area inside Nissan Stadium prior to the game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

NFL postpones Titans game vs. Steelers

The NFL has postponed Sunday’s Week 4 matchup between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among Titans players and team personnel, the league announced Wednesday.

The league is expected to reschedule the game for Monday or Tuesday night.

“The Steelers-Titans game, originally scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, will be rescheduled to allow additional time for further daily COVID-19 testing and to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel. Details on the new game date and time on either Monday or Tuesday will be announced a soon as possible,” the statement reads.

Three Titans players — defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson — were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday as the NFL shut down the team facility. A fourth player returned a positive test Wednesday, according to NFL Network.

The Titans also reported five positive tests among team personnel.

There is no announcement yet on the status of Sunday’s game involving the Minnesota Vikings. Their Week 4 game could also be postponed pending COVID-19 test results this week. The Vikings hosted the Titans on Sunday in Minneapolis and the team’s facility was closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Pregame scenes prior to the Georgia State Panthers and  Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns game at Center parc Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia State: COVID-19 testing errors led to PPD

Officials at Georgia State said Sunday that incorrect COVID-19 test results led to the postponement of Saturday’s game at Charlotte.

The initial results from tests taken on Thursday showed four positives. Contact tracing identified 17 other individuals, including one coach, who would require a quarantine period.

But Georgia State athletic director Charlie Cobb blamed “human error.” He said those in question were retested Friday and the results were all negative for the coronavirus. Thursday’s swabs were also retested and came back negative.

“It was at this point that the lab director informed our medical staff that a human error Friday morning caused the error in test results,” Cobb said in a statement. “The disappointing news is that we could have played on Saturday. More importantly, the positive news is we are not dealing with an outbreak at this time. We appreciate the professionalism shown by (Charlotte athletic director) Mike Hill and Coach (Will) Healy throughout the past 48 hours.”

Georgia State (0-1), a member of the Sun Belt, will host East Carolina (0-1) in a nonconference game on Saturday.

Charlotte (0-1) is scheduled to open its Conference USA schedule on Saturday at FAU (0-0).

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2020; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Arkansas State Red Wolves running back Lincoln Pare (22) follows the block of wide receiver Jonathan Adams Jr. (9) during a game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas State lacks depth, can’t play Tulsa

Arkansas State and Tulsa won’t play Saturday as scheduled because the Red Wolves are shorthanded at one unspecified position group.

The Red Wolves are continuing a battle with COVID-19.

“We are postponing our game against Tulsa because the amount of unavailable players at one specific position group doesn’t allow for us to safely play the game,” athletic director Terry Mohajir said Wednesday in a news release. “This is a result of a combination of positive tests on Monday and other players still displaying symptoms, as well as having time to safely reacclimate prior to the game.

“This decision is based on the ability to safely field a two-deep at the position group rather than the total number of players unavailable. We are taking all precautions as our student health and safety remains our first and foremost priority.”

Arkansas State has played two games on the 2020 season — a loss to Memphis on Sept. 5 and a win over Kansas State on Sept. 12. A Sept. 19 game against Central Arkansas was also postponed.

Tulsa is 0-1 after a loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, but games against Toledo and Northwestern State were canceled.

That Tulsa-Oklahoma State contest was moved from Sept. 12 as the Golden Hurricane got back on track after a coronavirus-related interruption.

The news release said the two schools would attempt to reschedule the game, which was set for Jonesboro, Ark.

–Field Level Media

Sep 14, 2019; Berkeley, CA, USA; North Texas Mean Green head coach Seth Littrell on the sideline during the third quarter against the California Golden Bears at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Positive tests force UNT to postpone game at Houston

Four positive COVID-19 tests this week at North Texas forced the Mean Green to postpone Saturday’s game at Houston, the fifth time the Cougars have had a game wiped out by the coronavirus.

The schools are working to find a date to reschedule, according to statements released by both programs on Wednesday.

Officials for North Texas said the contact tracing and subsequent quarantines stemming from those four positive tests left them unable to field enough players for the game.

“We knew that there would be challenges with COVID-19 this season and we were taking precautions to hopefully avoid this situation,” UNT athletic director Wren Baker said in a release. “Our student-athlete health and safety is the priority in every decision we make and that is what this difficult decision is based on. We are hopeful we can resume safe activities soon.”

The next game on the schedule for the Mean Green (1-1) is Oct. 3 at home against Southern Miss.

Houston now hopes to begin its season on Thursday, Oct. 8, against Tulane.

The Cougars’ original Sept. 3 season opener against Rice was postponed in August and their Sept. 12 matchup at Washington State was canceled in July. Houston’s Sept. 18 game against Memphis was postponed and replaced by a Sept. 19 game at Baylor, but that also fell through due to COVID-19 issues at Baylor.

“I am disappointed for our student-athletes who have continued to focus on competing this season and were ready to play this Saturday,” Houston vice president for athletics Chris Pezman said in a statement. “We will continue to work to adjust our schedule with the hopes of playing as soon as we can.”

–Field Level Media