This weekend's matchup between the No. 10 Florida Gators and defending champion LSU Tigers has been postponed after several Gators players and staff members tested positive for coronavirus, the university's athletic director announced Wednesday. The Week 7 matchup, originally planned for Saturday, has been rescheduled for December 12.
"We've reached a point where we don't think it's appropriate to play the game this weekend," Scott Stricklin, Florida's athletic director, said in a news conference. "Hopefully, we don't have any more positives and we're able to get on the other side of this and then we can get everyone back in a situation where you can go compete again."
Stricklin said 18 scholarship players and three walk-on players tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. About a dozen others have been quarantined through contact tracing. This left the Gators with less than 50 scholarship players available, which is below the Southeastern Conference's 53-player threshold.
"Fortunately, all those who are positive in this instance, including some coaches and some football staff, they seem to be either asymptomatic or only experiencing mild symptoms so that's obviously a positive right now and hopefully they'll continue to not have more severe symptoms," Stricklin said in a statement.
The identities of those who tested positive weren't immediately released. The Gators are scheduled to face the Missouri Tigers on October 24.
The announcement Wednesday marks the second postponement of an SEC game and the 29th Football Bowl Subdivision game to be rescheduled, CBS Sports reported.
Stricklin said there's "suspicion" that the outbreak could be linked Saturday's trip to College Station, Texas, to face Texas A&M, where the Aggies beat the Gators 41-38.