Auburn Pauses Football Workouts After 9 Players Test Positive for COVID-19

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2020

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn watches during the second half of an NCAA college football game against LSU on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn confirmed to reporters the program has paused practices after nine football players and three staff members tested positive for COVID-19. 

On Monday, the Tigers postponed Saturday's game against Mississippi State because of positive tests within the Bulldogs' program. Malzahn said those within Auburn raised concerns about whether the team would have had enough players available to play—with individuals out because of both positive tests and contact tracing protocols—prior to the postponement.

Auburn and Mississippi State aren't the only SEC teams dealing with the effects of the pandemic.

"We're going to keep moving forward," commissioner Greg Sankey said Monday, per ESPN's Alex Scarborough. "We don't get to just throw up our hands and not stop trying, but we'll have to come together depending on how much disruption occurs and we'll have to react to it. It's hard to predict. It's one of the lessons from the last few months."

Under the SEC's COVID-19 policy, teams must have at least 53 scholarship players available in order to play.

Players who test positive must isolate for at least 10 days. For symptomatic carriers, the isolation period begins from the onset of symptoms. Those deemed to be high risk (spending more than 15 minutes within six feet of somebody suspected to have COVID-19) have to quarantine for 14 days.

The SEC is aiming to have Auburn and Mississippi State play Dec. 12, so the Tigers won't be back in action until Nov. 21 against Tennessee.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like