LSU football coach Ed Orgeron says ‘most’ of his team have already caught COVID-19


Most of LSU’s footballers have been contracted and recovered from COVID-19, coach Ed Orgeron said Tuesday, leaving the coaching staff hopeful that those players will remain eligible for most of the season.

Meanwhile in the Big 12, Texas Tech announced that 75 players have tested positive for coronavirus as of June. The school says all but five players have recovered.

Texas Tech has now confirmed a total of 1,280 cases and drew national attention when a female student admitted in a viral video at a sorority that she was infected with the virus. The woman has since resigned, according to that sorority, Alpha Phi.

Both Texas Tech (1-0) and defending champion LSU (0-0) then play on Sept. 26, with the Red Raiders hosting Big 12 rival Texas and the Tigers welcoming SEC enemy Mississippi State to Baton Rouge for their opener.

Most of LSU's football players have been contracted and recovered from COVID-19, coach Ed Orgeron (pictured) said Tuesday, leaving the coaching staff hopeful that those players will remain eligible for most of the season.

Most of LSU’s football players have been contracted and recovered from COVID-19, coach Ed Orgeron (pictured) said Tuesday, leaving the coaching staff hopeful that those players will remain eligible for most of the season.

Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Matt Wells watches warm-ups for the college football game against the Houston Baptist Huskies at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock on Sept. 12, 2020

Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Matt Wells watches warm-ups for the college football game against the Houston Baptist Huskies at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock on Sept. 12, 2020

Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Matt Wells watches warm-ups for the college football game against the Houston Baptist Huskies at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock on Sept. 12, 2020

Orgeron made his comments while discussing how he would plan for seemingly healthy starters or regulars to suddenly become ineligible for the defending champions due to a positive COVID-19 test.

The coach explained that because players who have recovered from COVID-19 do not need to be retested for 90 days under Southeastern Conference protocols, he thinks he probably doesn’t need to worry that those who have come back from the virus suddenly excluded again.

“I think not all of our players, but most of our players caught it,” Orgeron said during a video conference, adding later that he did not know what percentage of the squad had tested positive.

“I think, hopefully, once you catch it, you won’t get it again,” Orgeron added. ‘I am not a doctor. I think they have that 90 day period, so most of the players who have noticed feel they are eligible for games.

So we look at the players who caught it and say, ‘Okay, these guys should qualify,’ Orgeron continued. ‘We look at the players who did not take it; we talk to them about being very, very careful about making them eligible for games. But we know that the players who didn’t catch it, we need to have some backups in their position in case they catch it. So we look at our schedule that way. ‘

The defending champions LSU Tigers (pictured here during spring training) open their season against SEC rival Mississippi State in Baton Rouge on Sept. 26

The defending champions LSU Tigers (pictured here during spring training) open their season against SEC rival Mississippi State in Baton Rouge on Sept. 26

The defending champions LSU Tigers (pictured here during spring training) open their season against SEC rival Mississippi State in Baton Rouge on Sept. 26

Orgeron did not go into detail as to whether LSU players who tested positive have experienced any symptoms. While COVID-19, which killed more than 190,000 Americans, is more deadly among the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, it has caused persistent health problems in some younger, healthy people – athletes included.

The new coronavirus can affect multiple organs, including the heart. Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who is 27, has been out all season while recovering from a heart problem related to the virus.

The SEC’s policy of not testing recovered players for 90 days is based on medical findings that antibodies developed to combat COVID-19 provide, at the very least, short-term immunity to reclaim it.

No. 6 LSU will host the state of Mississippi on Sept. 26 to open a 10-game SEC schedule, in league only. The SEC canceled all non-conference games because of the pandemic.

Fans attend a protest, organized by parents of Ohio State footballers, against the Big Ten Conference's football season being canceled over concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outside the Ohio State stadium in Columbus.  The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced in August that they would not be playing football this fall, in part out of concerns about player safety.  However, the Big Ten has discussed the possibility of starting the football season as early as October

Fans attend a protest, organized by parents of Ohio State footballers, against the Big Ten Conference's football season being canceled over concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outside the Ohio State stadium in Columbus.  The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced in August that they would not be playing football this fall, in part out of concerns about player safety.  However, the Big Ten has discussed the possibility of starting the football season as early as October

Fans attend a protest, organized by parents of Ohio State footballers, against the Big Ten Conference’s football season being canceled over concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outside the Ohio State stadium in Columbus. The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced in August that they would not be playing football this fall, in part out of concerns about player safety. However, the Big Ten has discussed the possibility of starting the football season as early as October

The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced in August that they would not be playing football this fall, in part out of concerns about player safety. However, the Big Ten has discussed the possibility of starting the football season as early as next month.

LSU officials have declined to disclose precise counts or even percentages of players who tested positive for antibodies or the disease itself. The virus has been spreading at an alarming rate on college campuses since students returned for the fall semester, with the result that some schools scrapped personal instructions.

Orgeron’s comments Tuesday narrowly focused on how the virus would affect his ability to draft a team, rather than the larger implications of a widespread outbreak among his players.

‘I said to the team,’ We need everyone. “There’s no telling what’s going to happen to the COVID,” Orgeron said. “I think we’ve got the hang of it, but once a kid gets it, the next guy has to go upstairs.”

A Texas Tech University student who claimed to have coronavirus in a video that went viral has resigned from her sorority, Alpha Phi

A Texas Tech University student who claimed to have coronavirus in a video that went viral has resigned from her sorority, Alpha Phi

A Texas Tech University student who claimed to have coronavirus in a video that went viral has resigned from her sorority, Alpha Phi

Orgeron said the training staff will tell him who tested positive and who should be quarantined for how long, “and we need to make adjustments.”

Orgeron said that about two weeks ago, except for a few offensive linemen, they were out for COVID-19 testing or contact tracking, preventing the Tigers from performing 11-on-11 drills for a few days.

“We adapted well,” said Orgeron.

While nearly all LSU and Texas Tech players have recovered, the long-term side effects of the coronavirus are still unknown.

Most people recover within a few weeks. For people who experience longer-term effects, the most common problems are periods of exhaustion, headaches, anxiety, and muscle aches that can last for at least several weeks.

Patients requiring intensive care, including those on ventilator or kidney dialysis, may develop more serious problems.

Scarring on the lungs can occur in people who have developed pneumonia. Heart inflammation, irregular heartbeat and deterioration of kidney and liver function have also been reported. However, it is too early to know if these could be permanent problems.

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