Louisville-Virginia game postponed due to COVID-19 issues with Cardinals
Louisville's football game against Virginia on Saturday has been postponed.
The Cardinals, who missed nine players in last week's game against Virginia Tech due to coronavirus-related issues, will not play the Cavaliers this weekend. Instead, the game will be moved to Nov. 14, replacing the Cardinals' originally scheduled bye week.
While nine players missed last week's game — eight on the defensive side of the ball — Louisville still played against Virginia Tech. Those numbers have grown since Saturday's game.
Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said the football program is dealing with 15 COVID-19 cases with seven more people in quarantine, for 22 virus-related issues in total. Ten players have COVID-19, with five more in quarantine. The team's support staff has had five positive tests, with two more in quarantine. No members of the coaching staff tested positive or are quarantined, Tyra said.
Because of those growing cases, the program has also paused all team activities for now. Tyra said everyone who has tested positive has mild symptoms, and no one is seriously ill.
“We are taking a precautionary measure to pause due to the number of student-athletes and staff that have been impacted by the virus,” Tyra said. “With Virginia and us both having a bye week on November 14, we are fortunate to reschedule the game for that date. It also avails us a chance to gauge any further spread of the virus. Test results from both Friday and Sunday will dictate when we return to team activities. We appreciate the ACC and Virginia working with us at this time.”
On Monday, coach Scott Satterfield said the team talked about postponing the Virginia Tech game, but the team ultimately wanted to play.
Last Saturday, Louisville had five defensive linemen active and was without defensive linemen Yaya Diaby, Dayna Kinnaird, Micah Bland, Tabarius Peterson, Malik Clark and Ja'Darien Boykin, along with linebacker Monty Montgomery, safety Isaiah Hayes and punter Ryan Harwell. It is unknown how many players are expected to be out this week.
"It comes down to 'Do you have enough players at a certain position?' And I've heard this from several schools throughout the country whenever games have been canceled. If you don't have enough players at a certain position, you can't play. Particularly, O-line and D-line are really those spots," Satterfield said Monday. "You just can't go manufacture big guys to put in there. Either you have them, or you don't. So we looked at the numbers defensive line-wise to say 'Can we play?' and we had enough. We had five. And we said we'll go out and play. You just cross your fingers that nobody gets dinged out there during the game, and we're able to finish the game with all those guys, because then it becomes player safety. So we did not reach that number where we didn't think it was not safe for those guys to go play."
Because Louisville had an off week two weeks ago, postponing the game will not throw a big wrench in the team's schedule. The team will now finish its season playing four straight weeks with no rest.
The ACC has different policies for if a player has tested positive for COVID-19 or if they're quarantined due to contact tracing. If an athlete is identified through contact tracing, they must complete a full 14-day quarantine before returning to team activities.
If an athlete tests positive, he or she must isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or a positive test and must be one day removed from recovery. Recovery is defined as being without a fever, with no use of fever-reducing medications, and the improvement of respiratory symptoms.