Louisville has paused all football-related activities, and its game at Virginia set for Saturday is being moved to Nov. 14 after a coronavirus outbreak has impacted the Cardinals, the ACC announced Wednesday night.
Both teams had an open date next weekend, allowing the game to be moved without further scheduling disruption.
Fifteen members of the Cardinals tested positive for the virus, including 10 players and five members of the support staff, and seven others are in quarantine. No coaches are positive or in quarantine.
On Friday, multiple players on Louisville’s defensive line either tested positive or went into contact trace quarantine. As a result, the Cardinals played Virginia Tech with four scholarship defensive linemen. Between Friday and the latest round of testing on Wednesday, the number of players and staff impacted doubled, leading Louisville to pause activities.
Athletics director Vince Tyra said on a call with the media on Wednesday night that the staff members who tested positive work in the training room and come into contact with all players on the team, presenting a unique situation that forced the Cards to pause in an attempt to mitigate future spread.
Louisville will test again on Friday and Sunday. If there is no further spread, the plan is to resume practice on Monday.
“While the number of players probably isn’t as high as you have heard from other programs that have taken a pause, we felt it was necessary due to the fact that the support staff that tested positive,” Tyra said. “They work closely with our players in the training room and the equipment area so that gave us a little concern, and it felt like we needed to take a timeout here.”
Tyra said the source of the outbreak has not been identified, but it is centered among the defensive linemen. Louisville would have had three scholarship defensive linemen to play Virginia. Though teams are not required to have a minimum number of players at that position group in the ACC, Tyra said, “I know others have played with players out at different positions, but when you get into the trenches and there’s a lot of contact between the offensive and defensive linemen, that’s one the league has its eye on.”
If Louisville is unable to play next week, Tyra said there is a possibility the teams could play Dec. 19, the day of the ACC championship game.
This marks the fifth ACC game impacted because of COVID-19. So far, all conference games impacted by the virus have been rescheduled.
Virginia has had multiple scheduled games moved because of coronavirus issues impacting its opponent. Previously, its opener against rival Virginia Tech was pushed back to Dec. 12 after several Hokies players and coaches tested positive for the virus in September.