Louisville Football Praises Efforts from Head Trainer Matt Summers & Staff
The University of Louisville has experienced a high level of success in regards to containing the spread of COVID-19 within the football complex, and a lot of that stems from the efforts of Director of Sports Medicine and Head Football Athletic Trainer Matt Summers.
When Athletic Director Vince Tyra first announced the phased plan to return players back to campus back in May, Summers and his staff were the ones responsible for putting in the place the guidelines & protocols for everyone to follow. After a near-flawless resumption of football activities, the players and coaches are raving in their efforts to keep them healthy.
"My hat's off to them," offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford said in a teleconference with reporters following practice Tuesday. "We knew that when we were going to have the opportunity to come back, he and his staff have worked diligently nonstop at putting all these different plans together."
Football has been one of the only Louisville-sanctioned fall sports to not have to pause team-related activities since returning to campus. Since June 8 when voluntary physical activity began, the program has had just four positive cases of COVID-19. It was also reported that Louisville had zero positive cases when they tested over 100 players Tuesday morning.
"We came back in small increments, we kept increasing that, the testing was there. To me, what we have done here, it's been phenomenal. Matt Summers and his staff have done a phenomenal job with that," Ledford said. "I think that there can't be enough good things said about the amount of work they have put into making this go the way it's going."
Even with newly discovered risks associated with the virus, the players are still adamant on wanting to play. A high-ranking Big Ten source told The Athletic that the conference is aware of "at least 10 players" that have developed myocarditis, a rare heart condition.
"It's just a risk that you have to take," inside linebacker CJ Avery said Tuesday. "Honestly, I think all the players here feel the safest here in this facility. We have Matt (Summers) and our staff here, they're doing a tremendous job of all the protocols and things like that."
Avery is far from the first Louisville player to echo this sentiment. Last week, wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick said that he felt "more safe in the stadium with all the precautions we are taking than outside in the real world". Several players & coaches also said the same during the #WeWantToPlay social media movement over the past two days.
Louisville will return to the practice fields Wednesday morning at 9:30am for their eighth practice of fall camp. The Cards are tentatively set to kickoff the season against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Cardinal Stadium.
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