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Home Sport Auburn reports another positive COVID-19 case on eve of Citrus Bowl

Auburn reports another positive COVID-19 case on eve of Citrus Bowl


A day after saying #Auburn was “touch and go” as far as its available roster for the #Citrus #Bowl, defensive coordinator #Kevin #Steele revealed the #Tigers had another positive COVID-19 test result.

The latest positive came #Thursday morning, a little more than 28 hours before #Auburn is scheduled to kick off against #Northwestern in #Orlando, #Fla.

“That’s how quick it changes,” #Steele said. “We practiced all week. #We’re ready to get on a plane, and we’ve got a positive, so now we’ve got to adjust.”

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#That’s what this last week — and most of 2020, really — has been about: adjusting. #Due to the pandemic, it has been a year of change and adapting on the fly — whether it was the cancelation of spring, an unusual and virtual offseason or the flexible, 10-game conference slate — #Auburn has had to make adjustments for much of the last 10 months.

#To this point, the #Tigers have done well. They didn’t have any games canceled during the regular season, and only one — against #Mississippi #State — was postponed, but that was due to the #Bulldogs being unable to meet the threshold for available scholarship players.

#That doesn’t mean #Auburn’s season hasn’t been without its own hurdles from a health perspective. The #Tigers have had their share of run-ins with the coronavirus, including a pause in preseason practices in #August, when nine positive cases forced 16 players out of practice due to contact tracing protocols. #Auburn also had 10 players, including five starters, sidelined during the second week of #September after two more positive test results.

The week of that #Mississippi #State game, #Auburn paused practices and had more than a dozen positive cases, including 10 players, with approximately the same amount forced into mandatory quarantine due to contact tracing protocols. Then, the week of the #Iron #Bowl, #Auburn reported one more positive test.

#Auburn has yet to reach a tipping point with its roster availability this season, though then-coach #Gus #Malzahn said in #November that the #Tigers were close enough that they had to do the math the week of the postponed #Mississippi #State game. #Steele has not provided precise — or even general — numbers on the #Tigers’ latest rounds of testing since players reported back to campus last weekend, saying #Thursday that he’s keeping things “close to the vest.” #But from listening to #Auburn’s acting head coach this week, it sounds like the program could be more impacted by COVID-19 for the #Citrus #Bowl than it has at other points in the season — which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given that players were given two weeks off to return home for the holidays upon the completion of the regular season and a rigorous six months in the pseudo-bubble that is #Auburn’s campus.

“We’ve had guys in and out of practice,” #Steele said. “It’s going to be a little bit mix and match.”

#Steele, and #Malzahn before him, praised the work of team doctor #Michael #Goodlett in helping #Auburn navigate the challenges of completing a season amid a pandemic. #At the behest of #Goodlett, #Auburn will not even have a walkthrough at #Camping #World #Stadium, as he believes its best to limit the team’s movement leading up to the game, especially with #Auburn not traveling to #Orlando until midday #Thursday.

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“As far as we are concerned as a staff and a team, I think every man, player and coach, would tell you that the captain of the ship through COVID, #Dr. #Goodlett — #No. 1, he loves and cares about us and takes care of us like we’re family, and on top of that, he’s an unbelievable doctor, very, very intelligent,” #Steele said. “He navigated us and took all the pressure off us in terms of getting through it and he was very successful. #It seems like he works 18 hours, 20 hours a day. I don’t know when the man sleeps. #He’s been invaluable in terms of getting us through this.”

#Tom #Green is an #Auburn beat reporter for #Alabama #Media #Group. #Follow him on #Twitter @Tomas_#Verde.





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https://www.al.com/auburnfootball/2020/12/auburn-reports-another-positive-covid-19-case-on-eve-of-citrus-bowl.html

##Auburn #reports #positive #COVID19 #case #eve ##Citrus ##Bowl

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