The Colorado state football team was nearing the departure of its short bus ride to the Air Force Academy last Wednesday when the coronavirus pandemic again wreaked havoc in the season of the Rams.
Two weeks. Two canceled games.
“I would say we were literally 20 minutes away from participating in our meetings and walk-throughs, and basically just rolled over and headed to the game right after,” Addazio told reporters at a virtual press conference Monday. “We were ready to play, that’s all I can tell you. We were 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 for contact tracking, according to a statement posted on the school’s coronavirus recovery website. It was a difficult pill to swallow after the Rams were 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 medical staff and Larimer County health department, noting that CSU has already played games this year without multiple starters due to positive tests or contact tracking. Last week’s issue, Addazio said, was a concern about the program’s “ overall positivity rate. ”
“It’s an emotional rollercoaster,” said Addazio. “We missed two games in a row, so we are going to play without it for three weeks. You prepare your tail, work hard, invest 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 not. … As an experienced coach, the latter, that was difficult.
“The children get the feeling: what is the chance that we will actually play? That’s human nature and I get it. … It’s mentally exhausting. “
The Rams (1-2) will not take a break on their return, hopefully, to play in San Diego State (3-3) on Saturday. The Aztecs come into play after losing 10 points to Colorado. SDSU was selected to take the title of the West Division in a preseason media poll this year. (They are an 8 point favorite).
CSU must prove that it is mentally resilient after not playing a football game for three weeks. The Rams returned to practice on Sunday.
“We are delighted to hit the road and play this football game,” said Addazio. “I just hope we can be somewhat intact and go out in a fairly full complement.”