After finishing practice on Thursday night, Clemson’s football program began its three-day weekend off.
Head coach Dabo Swinney, like he always does on an open date weekend, gave his players and staff the next three days off before they return to practice on Monday to begin preparations for next Saturday’s trip to Florida State.
Though the Tigers are not playing, this weekend is as important to the 2020 football season as any game for fourth-ranked Clemson. With positive test results for COVID-19 popping up at a record high across the country, the opportunity to contract the virus is higher than at any other time.
It is already raising its ugly head in college football. As of Thursday morning, 10 games have either been postponed or canceled. The Tigers have been fortunate to this point, they have yet to have any major issues with the virus in the program since it had an early outbreak back in the summer. Even Clemson’s opponents have been fortunate to this point when it comes to COVID-19.
But with players potentially going home to see their families and doing other things with their time off, it is especially important, as they get ready for another College Football Playoff run, that they don’t derail the season due to making bad decisions that could affect them and the rest of the team moving forward.
Even before Clemson left for its off weekend, reserve running back Darien Rencher posted on Instagram Thursday night he has tested positive for the coronavirus. He is now in isolation.
Due to Clemson taking the weekend off, there is no official word from Clemson on if this is an isolate incident or if the program is in danger with any contact tracing at the running back position or with anyone else the senior has come in contact with.
Rencher is one of the more popular players on the team, as a ambassador for PAW Journey, and is also used quite a bit as the scout-team running back in practice.
This week is the most important open weekend in recent memory at Clemson. The Tigers had Sept. 26 off earlier this season and the players did a good job staying away from high-risk areas that could lead to an outbreak within the program.
Clemson will need a similar effort from its players, coaches and staffers this weekend as it leaves the bubble at the Allen Reeves Football Complex in Clemson.
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