“We knew heading into this adjusted season that there could be hiccups along the way,” Locksley said on a virtual news conference Thursday evening. “Much how we’ve addressed and managed working through these things during the 2020 season, we wake up and we deal with the rules that we’re given for that day.”
The Terps faced Penn State last week, and “based off the antigen testing that we did the morning of the game,” Locksley said, “we’re of the mind-set that we played a clean game.” Locksley said the positive tests were not concentrated in certain position groups.
Locksley would not say whether any of the players had symptoms, deferring that question and others to the school’s medical staff, none of whom were available on the call with reporters. One player who tested positive chose to isolate at home, while the others are staying on campus, according to a team spokesman.
In the Big Ten, players are tested daily, but Locksley said, “I can’t begin to speculate where or when or how it was contracted.”
Maryland’s athletic department has reported testing data only for athletes, not staff members, and Locksley would not say whether any coaches or staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus. Beginning Friday, the staff will not work from the football team facility and the building will be deep cleaned.
Maryland’s players have continued to meet both virtually and in person while staying at the hotel. The Terps had won back-to-back conference games against Minnesota and at Penn State. Locksley said his team is treating this break in the schedule like a bye week. He plans to use this time to self-scout the program to find areas for improvement while also continuing with game preparation.
“My goal is to be solution-based, and so we’re preparing as if Michigan State, our next opponent, is a game that we’re preparing to play,” Locksley said. “And until they tell me any differently that’s been the mind-set. … If tomorrow I wake up and they tell me that the Michigan State game is off, then I’m going to start preparing for the next opponent after that.”
The United States reported more than 177,000 new cases of the coronavirus Friday, and college football programs have not been immune to that uptick in cases.
Maryland’s game this weekend is one of 15 FBS matchups that have been canceled or postponed, including six involving top-25 teams. The SEC postponed four of its games this week, and the number of schedule adjustments across the country has increased this month.
“The cases are going up across the country,” Locksley said. “And so our football program is a microcosm of just that.”