Auburn Players Missing Time Due to COVID Concerns
This week, Auburn football head coach, Gus Malzahn, reported that the Tigers were down five starters this week because of COVID related issues. The Tigers had two positive tests from this round of testing, coming off the heels of an announcement of nine other positive tests on Aug. 30th.
Auburn is set to kickoff against Kentucky on Sept. 26, and Coach Malzahn said, "All of those guys will be back for the opener," and that the players would ideally be returning the week of the game, if not sooner.
Back in late August, Auburn was forced to cancel several football practices after the announcement of nine positive tests and subsequent quarantining of 16 players which according to Malzahn, hit two position groups "very hard."
With no specifics on which players or positions may be affected for Auburn, fans may not want to overlook Kentucky. Coming off a 3-5 SEC record last year, with two losses coming from Georgia and Florida, Kentucky will be out with something to prove in this game. If Auburn overlooks the Wildcats, they could very well be in for an upset.
When asked about his backup plans regarding coaching if he were to contract the virus and have to miss time, Malzahn responded, "One thing that I've already kind of got my mind on is, if I did [test positive], figure out a way in an isolated place in the stadium or Zoom in. I know my buddy Hugh Freeze coached last year laying down in a hospital bed. That's the way I'm looking at it."
For those of you who may not remember, back in Aug. 2019, Hugh Freeze underwent surgery for a life-threatening staph infection two weeks before the opening game of the season, and coached from his hospital bed in the booth, leading the Liberty Flames to a 24-0 loss to Syracuse.
The Auburn Tigers will likely face off against Kentucky with most, if not all, of their starters, but many of them will miss vital practices leading up to the game. It is safe to assume, we may see some sloppy play out of Auburn early in this matchup, and if Kentucky can capitalize we may be in for an upset.