On Wednesday, the Kentucky Wildcats announced via its head coach Mark Stoops that with 18 players currently absent due to a COVID-19 outbreak, along with injuries within the program, UK could not afford to lose any more players if it wanted to continue forward against the No. 6 Florida Gators on Saturday.
“We can’t afford anymore (players ruled out),” Stoops said in his pre-game press conference this week. “We get tested again tomorrow morning (Thursday) and let’s hope — we can’t afford anymore.”
It appears as if the Wildcats, indeed, did not lose any more players this week as a result of the latest round of COVID-19 testing. Kentucky.com's Josh Moore reports that the football team is on its team flight to Florida.
Florida has already had two of its games postponed this season due to COVID-19, including the team's Week 3 and Week 4 contests against LSU and Missouri, respectively. The team's matchup against the LSU Tigers is now set to take place on the league-wide makeup day on Dec. 12, the team played Missouri a couple of weeks after it was originally scheduled to be played, defeating the Tigers 41-17.
Since Florida's outbreak in October, the team has had just one reported COVID-19 positive test result without any other issues. The team's first outbreak came following the team's trip to College Station to face off against the Texas A&M Aggies, Florida would ultimately have 37 players test positive in the weeks following the game, and head coach Dan Mullen tested positive in the process.
All players, as far as it has been reported, recovered as did its head coach who stated he only had mild symptoms throughout his quarantine period. Florida knows first hand how quickly an outbreak like Kentucky has had can derail or significantly alter a season.
Luckily, that hasn't happened, at least yet, for the Wildcats amid a spike in cases across the team.