After a tough loss to Alabama last weekend, the Ole Miss football program faces a few more hardships in the game’s aftermath.
Head coach, Lane Kiffin, has announced that a few Ole Miss football players have tested positive for COVID-19. Yesterday, Nick Saban announced that he has tested positive for COVID following his recent win over Ole Miss. Although he has stated that he is asymptomatic, it shows that Saban is as human as the rest of us.
Before the start of the season, the Rebels faced many struggles. Many of the players and staff had tested positive or had been exposed to someone who contracted it. With a few games under their belt with minimal positive cases, the Rebels remain invested in their season.
The SEC Exposed
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Besides the new cases developing in Oxford, other SEC universities have announced more COVID outbreaks as well. The Florida Gators and LSU Tigers, as well as the Missouri Tigers and Vanderbilt Commodores, decided to reschedule their upcoming games on Saturday due to an outbreak on the Gator and Vanderbilt teams.
Due to this, Florida’s schedule and the teams they play have drastically changed. The reason for this is that any staff or players that have tested positive must quarantine for ten days, while anyone in close contact must quarantine for 14.
It makes SEC fans wonder if their favorite team will be forced to reschedule a few games. Potentially, if the team has enough players to fill in, the show will go on without players and staff that have been exposed.
Kiffin Reassures Rebel Fans
With a steady month of no outbreaks for the Rebels, some would argue it was bound to happen, especially in a college environment where students, professors, and athletes all mingle with each other. The football team intermingles with other SEC schools, and those players socialize with their student body.
According to Nick Suss of the Clarion Ledger,
“We are not in a great situation number-wise at all.” – Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss Football head coach
Kiffin believes that Ole Miss will still be able to compete against Arkansas on Saturday. Even with a few players sitting out, he has faith that the Rebels will perform strongly.
Preparing for a Hog Roast
The Ole Miss Rebels are supposed to face off against the Arkansas Razorbacks this coming Saturday at 2:30 in the afternoon. The players and staff get tested three times a week, and it looks like the show will go on if no more positive cases are reported between now and this Saturday. Based on the Florida and LSU and the Missouri versus Vanderbilt games, if more Ole Miss players test positive, a postponed game could be in the future.
However, if no more positive cases occur, there should be no problem playing this coming weekend. Coach Lane Kiffin believes that the Rebels will be able to play despite missing a few players. As Rebel fans, we can only hope that no more positive cases occur between these few days leading up to Saturday’s game.
Ultimately, players and staff health are of the utmost importance, not only for Ole Miss but also for other universities worldwide. Our current pandemic problem is that a singular person can contract the virus anywhere they go or anyone they see, even if the person is asymptomatic. Based on the university COVID-19 dashboard, there are currently 28 active cases.
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After an impressive performance by the Rebels last Saturday, let’s hope for continued momentum against the Razorbacks. We also hope for no more positive COVID-19 cases and continued good health for our players and staff. Hotty Toddy!