Alabama coach Nick Saban’s Thursday PCR test came back negative, the school announced. His test on Wednesday had come back positive.
The school put out a statement regarding the negative test. Saban would need two more negative tests, taken 24 hours apart, to determine that the first test on Wednesday was a false positive.
“Coach Saban was evaluated again today by Dr. Robinson. He continues to be asymptomatic and without fever,” the statement said. “We are continuing to follow the SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives.
“He will continue to remain in isolation and receive daily PCR tests. Should he have three negative PCR tests through the SEC appointed lab, each 24 hours apart, the initial test would be considered a false-positive pursuant to SEC protocols and we would be allowed to return.”
The statement also clarified that the positive test on Wednesday came from an outside lab that was being used by the school to supplement SEC testing.
As of this writing at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, the Georgia-Alabama game is still set to be played at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
Saban has maintained that he was going to do everything in his power to be on the sideline for Saturday’s game. While Saban is isolating, Steve Sarkisian is running things for Alabama. He will also still play-calling duties on Saturday in the event that Saban is not able to coach in person.
“So, we’re still doing everything possible to get ready for the Georgia game, preparing our team,” Sabana told reporters on a Zoom press conference on Wednesday. “We’re gonna do everything we can to help our team get ready to play, and players today, it’s our goal that they play their best, give their best for the game and we’re gonna continue to try to do this.”
Georgia wide receiver Kearis Jackson spoke about the news of whether or not Saban will be able to coach and Jackson maintained that Georgia is focusing on Georgia.
“Yeah, it’s definitely a wake-up call,” Jackson said. “We have to do the right things, wearing our masks and not being in places where people aren’t wearing theirs and things like that. We just have to continue doing a great job as a team, and staff by just making sure we’re wearing our mask and social distancing when we are out in public.”
In addition to Saban, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne tested positive for COVID-19. However, there have been no reported Alabama players testing positive for COVID-19 since Wednesday.
The SEC has had to move two games this week due to COVID outbreaks at Florida and Vanderbilt.
SEC COVID-19 Guidelines
To play a football game, the SEC has established minimum thresholds of at least 53 scholarship players available to participate and the following minimum number of position scholarship players available to begin a game:
• seven (7) offensive linemen (which includes one center),
• one (1) quarterback
• four (4) defensive linemen.
The impacted institution has the option to play the game with fewer than the 53 scholarship players or fewer than the minimum number of position players listed above if it elects to do so. Otherwise, upon approval by the Commissioner, the game would be rescheduled or declared a no contest.
A recap on Nick Saban's testing:
– Wednesday: positive
– Thursday: negative
– Friday: ?
– Saturday: ?
He'd need three negatives, separated by 24 hours each, to coach in Saturday's game.
Here's the SEC policy: pic.twitter.com/z8YiNZblDp
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) October 16, 2020
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