Alabama Football: SEC expected to establish minimum roster numbers for teams to play.
Alabama football is in great shape in terms of COVID cases and quarantines. New daily testing indicates not a single Alabama Crimson Tide player will miss the Missouri game.
That does not mean COVID-related, roster depletion risks have gone away. Those risks are likely to persist throughout the 2020 season.
Across the rest of college football, quarantines have caused games to be postponed and canceled. The most recent case being the cancellation of the Charlotte at North Carolina game, previously scheduled for this weekend.
Four more games for week three have been postponed: Houston at Memphis; Virginia at Virginia Tech; BYU at Army and Central Arkansas at Arkansas State. In total, in week one through week three of the 2020 season, 11 games have been postponed or canceled.
The word coming out of Charlotte is the 49ers, due to quarantines, did not have enough available offensive linemen to play the Tar Heels. Noteworthy is the actual percentage of positive cases at Charlotte reported by ESPN.
"A total of 3,150 tests have been administered to Charlotte student-athletes, coaches and staff since June 10, with 20 positive cases reported. On Monday, 200 tests were administered with one positive."
Such a low positive rate forcing a game cancellation is troubling. As well as Alabama football is doing, will the Crimson Tide face a future, similar result? New information on Thursday came via a tweet from Pete Thamel.
Fifty-three seems a workable number. The NFL has increased from 46 to 48, its gameday, active rosters. Few college football coaches will prefer playing with as few as 53 available players, but it’s better than not playing at all.
If Thamel’s breakdown is correct, SEC coaches might choose to prep some offensive linemen to also play defensive line. An entire game could be played with five offensive linemen. For Alabama football and many other teams, a rotation of four defensive linemen would be a major change.
The Alabama football staff will not be caught off-guard. Nick Saban has spoken about training players for multiple positions, as well as the possibility some players might play offense and defense.
The SEC is to be commended for providing roster clarity. One more known and one less unknown is valuable to coaches and players. Alabama football fans will likely be quick to call for daily roster updates, especially leading up to TAMU and Georgia.