Notre Dame changing pregame schedule after team activity led to COVID outbreak, game postponement
Up until last week, Notre Dame’s football program had a great handle on COVID.
The Fighting Irish managed to play two games, which resulted in wins over Duke and South Florida, before last weekend’s game at Wake Forest had to be postponed due to an outbreak of the virus.
So what happened?
After several weeks of successfully managing COVID protocols, Notre Dame made a mistake leading up to the South Florida game that cost them the following week.
“Throughout our entire time together, we had not had one meal where we sat down together,” Brian Kelly said on Tuesday, according to Heather Dinich of ESPN. “Everything was grab and go. We get into our game situation where we have pregame meal together, and that cost us. Big. We had somebody who was asymptomatic, and it spread like wildfire throughout our meeting area where we were eating and then it got guys in contact tracing.”
Following the South Florida game, Notre Dame had 18 positive COVID cases and led 25 players to be put in isolation with another 14 in quarantine.
The pregame meal is something many likely took for granted in previous seasons but not even that can be managed without consequences if a player has the virus in 2020. Notre Dame now plans on eating pregame meals in convention center areas that allow for social distancing.
“It’s a reality we’re living with,” Kelly said, “and if you want to play football, you’ve got to make some adjustments along the way.”
Notre Dame’s next game is set for Oct. 10 at home against Florida State.