Helmet at K-State Spring Game

A Kansas State spokesman told The Mercury on Friday that the football team recently had seven players test positive for the coronavirus. K-State is scheduled to open the season Sept. 12 against Arkansa State.

After more than a month without positive coronavirus tests, the Kansas State football team’s good luck has come to an end: A spokesman told The Mercury on Friday that the Wildcats now have seven active cases after the latest round of testing.

The positive tests, however, will not affect the team’s practices, as they will continue as scheduled with the Sept. 12 season opener against Arkansas State barely two weeks away.

Officials didn’t identify the players.

Friday marks the first time since the middle of July that K-State’s athletics department has disclosed news of positive tests. K-State Athletics announced on July 13 that 29 student-athletes had tested positive for COVID-19, with two active cases. One of the cases was senior defensive back Jonathan Alexander, who revealed his positive test on Twitter the same day as athletics department’s announcement. (Alexander has since opted out of the 2020 season, citing his concerns about playing football during the pandemic.)

An outbreak developed among the football team earlier this summer, with 14 players testing positive. That prompted the athletics department to suspend voluntary football workouts June 20 — just five days after they had begun.

K-State’s disclosure Friday mirrors what other schools across the country are facing as they try to conduct a football season with no vaccine for COVID-19.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley told reporters Tuesday that one of his team’s position groups is entirely sidelined after a recent batch of positive tests. Though he declined to name the specific group, he said it’s one that has “multiple” players on the field at the same time.

In the ACC, a game between North Carolina State and Virginia Tech was postponed Wednesday. The contest originally was scheduled to be played Sept. 12; it now is slated for Sept. 26. It came after N.C. State announced 22 positive tests among players, coaches and athletics department staff members in a recent round of testing for COVID-19.

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