LAFAYETTE — Nine Cajuns are out due to COVID-19 or contact tracing, Billy Napier told us Wednesday.
Louisiana has had a lot of good fortune dealing with the virus. Throughout workouts and fall practice, the Cajuns didn't have to pause practice due to an outbreak, and went several weeks without a positive test.
According to Napier, a few players that are out were either positive or within contact on Friday, prior to leaving for the Iowa State game. None of the positive tests are attributed to the contest against the Cyclones.
Due to policy, specific athletes couldn't be named, but those players were removed from the depth chart. The same can be said for any player that is on the injured list and is out.
Napier says the Cajuns are continuing to be proactive seeking info and taking the steps to be safe.
"You start with the basics. You have to do the fundamentals well," Napier explained. "We consistently talk about wearing our mask, washing our hands, watching our distance and making really good decisions away from the facility. I really like the way we meet and how we practice. All of those things have been well thought out. We feel confident within our complex. I do think when we travel, that's where we have to be really strategic. We had twice as many tables in the ballroom for meals, half as many people at each table. We take additional buses. Each person has their own 2 seats. We're taking an extra large plane to Atlanta this week so they'll be more social distance on the plane. We strategically have roommates based off of depth and those type of things. We did tons of research not only with our peers across the country, but with the NFL. We use our locker room in shifts, we use our training table in shift. We have percentage capacity rules in all of our meeting rooms. All the things we can do to mitigate, that's where we have to start."
Napier also acknowledging that these are college kids, and while mistakes will happen, the players have to stay focused while out in public.
"They're young men, they're teenagers. Reality is, they are going to make some bad decisions at time. As simple as, going to pick up drive thru and eating together in the car. That's not a good decision. That would be an example of a costly mistake on our part," Napier said. "We have to continue to learn, continue to stay focused and realize these are part of the rules. If you're a competitor, you want to do everything you want to do everything you can do to win. You have to make decisions relative to COVID-19 to win."
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