COLUMBIA — Missouri will be without seven players because of coronavirus protocols for Saturday morning's game against LSU, according to Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz.
Speaking on his weekly radio show Thursday, Drinkwitz said the program had a positive test result during one of this week's rounds of testing, and contact tracing ruled out another six players. The Southeastern Conference's mandatory 14-day quarantine period means those seven players will also miss the Vanderbilt game Oct. 17.
The Tigers (0-2) were without seven players for the season-opener against Alabama because of COVID protocols, as well as defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison, who also missed the following week's Tennessee game, but had no additional positives the week of the Tennessee game.
Health and student privacy laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act have prevented Missouri from releasing names of players who test positive. Missouri didn't have any regular starters miss the Alabama game, though Drinkwitz suggested that would not be the case this time.
"Yeah, HIPAA, yep, and I don't make it a habit of putting people's personal business out there for anybody, but (fans) will know soon enough as soon as we take the football field," Drinkwitz said Thursday.
During Tuesday's weekly press conference, Drinkwitz hinted this was not a surprise, but was waiting for confirmation before making it official. Missouri's testing schedule is three times weekly — Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday — and the program won't know the results of Thursday's test results until sometime this morning.
"We're still working out a few scenarios right now with COVID," he said Tuesday. "We had, again, testing this morning. I'll make the final announcement on whatevever situation from our travel this past week on Thursday, on the coach's show, I guess that'll be the last time (to speak publicly before the game). But we are getting some guys back, we had two players get reintroduced to our football team last Thursday, and I think we have two more today that will be full participation in practice. But we're still working through a few things from this past trip and I'll update that when it becomes clear, it's not quite clear yet."
Junior cornerback Jarvis Ware (knee) has been practicing this week, and said on Thursday's radio show he would play against LSU. Ware injured his knee against Alabama, was listed by Drinkwitz as day-to-day the following week and did not play against Tennessee.
Tickets for Saturday's game go on sale for the general public at 9 a.m. today by phone or on Missouri's athletics website. The game will be televised on the SEC Network's alternate channel.