NORMAN — Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley told ESPN’s Mike Golic Jr. and Trey Wingo on Thursday that “one or two” OU players have either been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19.
An OU spokesperson confirmed that one football player has tested positive.
“While our facilities have been closed to workouts since last spring and our student-athletes will not return for several more days, we are aware that a member of our football team has tested positive for COVID-19,” the spokesperson wrote in a statement.
As teams return across the nation for workouts, positive cases among players have been common. Texas announced earlier in the day that 13 football players have tested positive.
“Listen, nobody’s been immune to this,” Riley said. “We’ve had a player or two that has either been exposed or tested positive to this thing, like everyone else has. The difference is our players aren’t here together, so they haven’t exposed or potentially infected players here.”
Eventually, as Riley acknowledged, his team must reconvene. OU’s return to voluntary activities on campus begins July 1, with a plan in place for quarantining infected players.
Each player will be required to take an initial COVID-19 test. It’s uncertain how frequently tests will occur after that.
OU chose a later date to return than others as a means of gathering more information about the pandemic.
Riley touted that decision, not to chide other schools’ choices, but because it’s allowed time for more conversations with medical professionals and experts.
“I do feel like we’re more educated (now, than) had we brought our guys in even as little as a week ago; there’s less that we would have known,” Riley said. “So I do feel like we’ve been more educated. Does that mean it’s going be 100 percent? No. But I feel like we’re more prepared on two fronts.”