Vanderbilt was the first SEC team to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak during the season that forced the Commodores to have less than 53 scholarship players available. That’s why the Missouri game this week was postponed.

But coach Derek Mason said on the SEC coaches media teleconference that Vanderbilt was back on the practice field and trying to get back on track with its season, while staying safe.

“Right now we’re currently looking to get some more injured players back as well as you know my players that have gone through, you know contact tracing and or protocols for COVID-19,” Mason said. “That’s where we sit as of right now and like today we were able to get out on the field a little bit for the guys you know that we do have to run around our numbers haven’t been going up, due to injury and for COVID-19 protocols man that we couldn’t.”

While a game this week wasn’t possible, the Commodores being on the practice field was a move in the right direction.

“We couldn’t foresee ourselves playing like this week,” Mason said. “And, obviously, to get those numbers back to something that, you know, for us man we need as we look to move forward but we were on the grass today. you know guys are doing a good job. You know, in the midst of everything going on, and we’re just taking it one day at a time.”

Mason admitted that it may just be the SEC’s time to deal with something that no one’s ever seen. And no one owes anyone an apology.

“The SEC isn’t the first conference to look at postponing a game,” Mason said. “I think right now man we’ve worked, we’re doing the best we can to serve the service student athletes, you know, to the best of our ability and that’s all about making sure that we talk about health safety and welfare student athlete first. So, you know, whether it’s injuries, whether it’s you know cover COVID-related responses to where rosters say we are playing football independent. And so, you know, to be smart to be safe.”