Colorado State’s football team neared the departure of its short bus drive to Air Force last Wednesday when the coronavirus pandemic once again wreaked havoc on the Rams’ season.
Two weeks. Two canceled games.
“I would say we were literally 20 minutes from engaging in our meetings and walk-throughs, and really just rolling right after that and going (to the game),” Addazio told reporters during a virtual Monday news conference. “We were ready to play, that’s all I can tell you. We were flat ready to play.”
The news dropped less than 24 hours before kickoff that seven CSU players and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19, with nine additional players quarantined due to contact tracing, per a statement on the school’s coronavirus recovery website. It was a difficult pill to swallow after the Rams had been unable to host UNLV on Nov. 21 due to a coronavirus outbreak among the Rebels.
Addazio did not disagree with the latest cancellation, made in conjunction with the university’s medical staff and the Larimer County health department, noting that CSU has already played games this year without multiple starters because of positive tests or contact tracing. The issue last week, Addazio said, was a concern over the program’s “overall positivity rate.”
“It’s an emotional roller coaster,” Addazio said. “We have missed two games in a row, so we’re going to go for three weeks without playing. You’re preparing your tail off, working hard, investing so much mentally and physically. Then it just gets pulled away and you ride this mental roller coaster. It has an effect. I’m not going to tell you it doesn’t. … As a veteran coach, this last one, that was hard.
“The kids start to feel like: What are the odds that we’re really going to play? That’s human nature and I get it. … It’s mentally fatiguing.”
The Rams (1-2) don’t catch a break upon their return, hopefully, to play Saturday at San Diego State (3-3). The Aztecs enter the game following a 10-point loss at Colorado. SDSU was picked to win the West Division title this year in a preseason media poll. (They are an 8-point favorite).
CSU must prove it is mentally resilient after not playing a football game in three weeks. The Rams returned to practice on Sunday.
“We’re excited to get on the road and play this football game,” Addazio said. “I just hope that we can be somewhat intact and go out there in a fairly full complement.”
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