Saturday was a tough day for fourth-ranked Clemson. The Tigers rolled out of bed for breakfast at the team hotel thinking they were about to play a football game in a few hours. However, that never happened.
Instead, Clemson was hit with the news Florida State did not want to play the game due to its concerns after Clemson reported it had a player test positive for COVID-19 on Friday night after the Tigers arrived in Tallahassee, Fla.
The two schools’ medical personnel were unable to mutually agree on moving forward with the game.
The Tigers (7-1, 6-1 ACC) have not played since their Nov. 7 loss at No. 2 Notre Dame, meaning when they play Pittsburgh next Saturday at Death Valley it will mark three weeks since their last game. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence will have not played in five weeks given he missed two weeks due to his own positive test result for the coronavirus, the bye week and Saturday’s postponed game at Florida State.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is expected to address the media tonight in his weekly Sunday conference call. Athletic Director Dan Radakovich will also join him on the call. Radakovich is expected to meet this week with FSU and the ACC on if the game will be played or not, and if so, where? Because of financial reasons the Tigers do not want to make a return trip to Tallahassee.
Though the Tigers will attempt to move past the disappointment of not playing and wasting roughly $300,000 on the trip to Tallahassee, they also have a legitimate concern about next week’s game against Pitt possibly being postponed or canceled as well.
Pitt reported prior to its 47-14 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday, it had 16 players out due to the team’s COVID-19 protocols. Those 16 players are the most the Panthers have reported this season.
Ironically, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said to reporters on Saturday the Panthers possibly picked up the virus when they played at Florida State on Nov. 7.
“We got hit with COVID coming back from Tallahassee somehow, someway, I don’t know what happened,” Narduzzi said.
Five days after getting back from its trip to Florida State, Pitt was forced to pause team operations and later postponed its Nov. 14 game with Georgia Tech. According to Narduzzi, the 16 players that sat out against the Hokies were the ones in question leading up to the Georgia Tech game.
“We were close all week,” Narduzzi said. “The positive thing is we were clean all week, too… We didn’t lose anybody this week in practice.”
Now Clemson and Pitt both hope neither team loses anybody this week, so they can play a football game next Saturday.
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