Notre Dame football provides update on players with COVID-19

NOW: Notre Dame football provides update on players with COVID-19


NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame football has 18 players in isolation, 11 in quarantine, but have had no new cases of COVID-19 this week, Head Coach Brian Kelly announced Thursday.

So far nine players have been released from isolation and 14 are set to be released within 2 days.

Tests that were conducted on Monday and Wednesday found no new cases. The next round of testing will be done Friday.

Practice resumes Thursday and the team will have a scrimmage on Sunday.

Coach Kelly says he has helped individual players come back successfully after injuries, but he's never had to get the entire team ready to come back after a two week layoff.

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, getting practice time has been nearly impossible due to nearly a third of the roster in isolation or quarantine because of positive tests or contact tracing.

Kelly explained what led to the decision to postpone the Wake Forest game on September 26.

“First, do we have this under control? We didn’t feel through our testing that we had the spike under control," Coach Kelly said. "Two, would we be risking individual by playing them well beyond the threshold of the amount of plays they should be playing in a game? That was part two. When we looked at one and two — that’s how we made our decision.”

As of Thursday, the team has 18 players in isolation and 11 in quarantine.

According to head Athletic Trainer Rob Hunt, nine players have been released and cleared for practice and 14 more are expected to be cleared on Friday.

The entire team was tested Monday and Wednesday this week and there were no positive cases of COVID-19.

The latest hurdle in tackling the spread has forced the Fighting Irish to reassess their COVID safety protocols.

“We've spaced out our meal even farther, we are de-densifying our locker room, really, really dig deep and hold our players into zero tolerance in regards to masks," Hunt said.

The team resumed conditioning sessions this week for players who were healthy enough to participate.

They will resume practices on Thursday and Friday and will scrimmage on Sunday.

Their next game, against FSU, is scheduled for October 10 at home.

"We've got one foot on the break a little bit still, but I think all of us feel a lot better than we did 10 days ago," Hunt said.

“We can’t afford another setback the way we had," Coach Kelly said.

Three key players, Kevin Austin, Kyle Hamilton and Ben Skowronek, will suit up for the FSU game after recovering from injuries.

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