Vanderbilt Has "Enough Players to Play" Ole Miss After Two-Week COVID-19 Hiatus

Nate Gabler

Vanderbilt has not played a football game since Oct. 10 after taking two weeks off dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks within the team that left them under the SEC threshold for having to play games.

It seems like, at least at this moment, the Commodores will have enough players to take the field this week against Ole Miss.

"I've got enough players to play right now," Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason said on on a Nashville radio station Monday night. "We're still working our way (to full strength), but if we had to play today, this football team could play."

Vanderbilt's game on Oct. 17 against Missouri had to be postponed after the Commodores had under the 53 scholarship limit of available players mandated by the SEC. Last week, Vanderbilt had a previously scheduled bye week, but Mason had said the team was in the 'high 40s' of available players. 

Ole Miss had been dealing with some of their own COVID-19 issues, as they were without three starters on the defense last week against Auburn and two the prior week against Arkansas. However, the Rebels haven't been close to having to miss a week of play due to regulations. 

The SEC has requirements to play a game includes not just having 53 scholarship players, but you must have seven offensive linemen, one quarterback and four defensive linemen available as well. Teams below these thresholds can opt to play anyway if they get league approval. 

Vanderbilt has to survive two more rounds of testing this week until it can be official that they play this week against Vanderbilt, but it seems like things are trending towards a game being played. 

"Right now, I think we're gonna have our best pieces available," Mason said. "Will it be every single piece? Absolutely not. It won't, but it'll be enough pieces for us to do the things that we need to do in order to go out here, execute the game plan and work toward getting the win vs. Ole Miss."

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