LSU Coach Ed Orgeron Says 'Most' of Team Has Contracted COVID-19, Talks How It Handles Positive Cases
LSU coach Ed Orgeron said on Tuesday's conference with the media that "most" of the LSU football team has either currently or previously contracted COVID-19 as the team prepares for its upcoming matchup with Mississippi State in 11 days. Orgeron later clarified his statement by saying that some players have contracted the virus and that those who have not have been told to be careful ahead of the 2020 season.
"I think most of our players, not all of our players but most of our players have caught it," Orgeron said. "Most of the players that have caught it we feel are going to be eligible for the game. For the players who haven't caught it, we talk to them about being very careful so they're eligible for games."
"I think we're better than we have been all camp going into the season but obviously we have to be really careful. I think that Shelley [Mullenix] and Jack [Marucci] have done a tremendous job of keeping us on track and our guys feel good."
By SEC rules, players who have contracted the virus must quarantine for 10 days and go an additional 24 hours without showing symptoms before they can return to practice. Players who have contracted COVID-19 also have a 90-day period before they can be tested again.
Though a decent portion of the team has contracted the virus, the question looms on how exactly LSU handles positive cases. That was something Orgeron went into a little more detail about on Tuesday when meeting with reporters.
Currently, Orgeron said the team currently has about "three or four" players out with COVID-19. Orgeron says he's notified when a player does test positive by athletic trainer Jack Marucci and how long they'll be quarantined so he can make adjustments.
Orgeron referenced two weeks ago, when the team had all but four scholarship offensive linemen in quarantine, and how well the team adjusted in that scenario.
"I've told the team we need everybody," Orgeron said. "There's no telling what's gonna happen with the COVID, I think we've got a good handle of it but once a kid gets it, next man's gotta go out. For the player who haven't caught it, we talk to them about being very, very careful. We know that the players who haven't caught it, we have to have some backups ready in case they catch it."
One player who absolutely can't afford to contract the virus is starting quarterback Myles Brennan.
Because LSU has two freshmen quarterbacks behind Brennan, it's imperative that he stays on the field. Orgeron has not told him to stick to being at home and the facility because he's pretty sure that Brennan already does to mitigate risk of him testing positive for the virus.
"I think these guys are very smart in what they're doing off the field, wearing a mask, I think Myles is a very private person," Orgeron said. "He's mature and I think he's all set but there's no telling how you can catch it, we just try to prevent it. He wears a mask all of the time and I know he goes home, he's by himself. I think he just goes home and comes to work."