Notre Dame football vs. COVID-19

Notre Dame football is experiencing a slight halt to the season for the next two weeks. After hitting a minor roadblock concerning new COVID-19 cases, the Irish were forced to postpone their game against Wake Forest. After playing South Florida, players were tested, per usual, for COVID-19. Out of 94 players tested, seven tested positive. As protocol requires additional contract tracing after positive results, the Irish now have a total of 13 players in isolation or complete quarantine. More testing was said to take place during the week. Those results have not been published yet. With that being said, can the Irish keep COVID-19 from affecting their team dynamic?


Not only does this put a stop to game days for some time, but this also affects practices. On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Brian Kelly announced practice would not be held that day. It might seem as if this should not have much of an effect to the team, but every missed practice is a missed opportunity to improve. If new COVID cases appear in the next week, there is no doubt more practice time will be canceled. Not only does this affect momentum but also will affect overall team dynamic. A season with many interruptions could cause trouble for the Irish.

Stricter Guidelines?

Since the middle of June, Notre Dame claimed they set up extremely strict guidelines in order for the players to start practicing again. The statistics to that claim do match up very well. Since this recent testing, there have only been 14 cases of COVID-19 on the Irish football team. Because of how contagious this virus is, that is a pretty good number to report. Although there have been concerns for this current outbreak, I do not know if there is any way to prevent future happenings.

Kelly claims the entire Irish roster is tested at least three times a week in a variety of ways. There is no issue in saying that high protocols are set in place. The only problem is as careful as the Irish are, future competition could unknowingly bring the virus back. Because football is a high contact sport, there is a risk with every game.

The Future

Notre Dame is not the only team that has experienced a setback. Since Aug. 26, there have been 21 cancellations or postponements of college football games. This virus is inevitable. It has interrupted more than just Irish football.

A completely healthy roster should be Notre Dame’s first concern. While that is in progress, another main focus should be on the team’s mental positivity and determination. This setback can be upsetting to many Irish players. This time period will give the team a chance to think about what they want Notre Dame football to represent this season. Sure, it will not be the same as it was last year or years before. As I am a victim as well on dwelling in the past, I think it is important to dial in on what could be in the future. What is their end goal this season? Can they be a leader to other teams in college football? It will all come down to the power of resilience.

Photo by Annie Smierciak | The Observer