According to head coach Lane Kiffin, the Ole Miss football team reported zero positive COVID-19 cases last week, making this the first time players have reported negative since they returned to practice in early June.
“In our last round of tests last week, for the first time, we had zero positives,” Kiffin said during a Sept. 14 press conference. “That was great. It’s really good, and I give a lot of credit to the kids for that. For a time that I think around them a lot of college kids are getting it, our kids need to continue to do a good job with that.”
The week before the fall semester began, the university conducted “a mass screening for student-athletes returning to campus,” and all tested athletes were instructed by the university to quarantine until they received their test results. This screening resulted in at least 15 student-athletes testing positive for COVID-19 and the first outbreak on campus since students returned to campus.
Since then, positive cases among student-athletes have continued, but Kiffin said most of the team is out practicing again.
“I think that we have a couple in quarantine only left. I think that’s it. I think we’re almost all the way back,” Kiffin said.
With no positive cases this week and a mock game on Saturday, the Rebels are pushing forward as they inch closer to the first game of the 2020 campaign.
“I don’t know that I had any expectations because we didn’t know we were going to play, whether we were going to be shut down practicing, how many practices we’d get,” Kiffin said when asked if the players were leveling up to his game-day expectations. “So, I don’t know that I had much expectations of exactly what was going to happen. I think we’ve worked really hard. I still feel like we’re a long ways away from playing, and that’s just probably because we’re new and we didn’t have spring. So, we’ll do our best.”
The Rebels will play the Florida Gators on Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. in the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.