No. 4 Clemson and Florida State were set to kick off at noon ET in Tallahassee, Florida, a game that would have marked Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s return to action following a positive COVID-19 test and multiple-week layoff. His return will have to wait.
The schools and conference announced Saturday morning that the game has been postponed after “both teams’ medical personnel were unable to mutually agree on moving forward with the game,” as explained by the ACC in a statement released less than four hours ahead of kickoff.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to play today’s game against Florida State,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said. “Clemson has followed all of the ACC’s protocol in preparation for this game. We look ahead to returning to action next week against Pitt for Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day.”
“Our first priority is the health of our student-athletes, and I appreciate the protocols that have been put in place by FSU and the ACC to ensure everyone’s health while allowing us to play this season,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “It’s unfortunate that we will not have the opportunity to compete today, but we hope to be able to play Clemson in December. I am thankful for the support and coordination between our administration, Clemson and the ACC office. Our team will now turn our focus to hosting Virginia next week.”
Though the frontward-facing statements were aligned, the sides were in disagreement about whether the game should have been postponed.
The issue that led to the postponement was a symptomatic Clemson player whose Friday COVID-19 test came back positive Saturday morning, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reports. That information was shared with Florida State during a meeting between the schools’ medical personnel ahead of the game.
That revelation gave Florida State pause about playing the game even if it was rescheduled to Sunday or Monday, while Clemson believes the game should have been played at some point over the next few days and it is not at fault for the postponement, sources told Dodd.
Sources also told CBS Sports the player in question tested negative twice during the week. There was no contact tracing needed because that player’s roommate is not on the trip. The player was isolated when his positive test was revealed.
Prior to an ACC game, teams share attestation forms that show the course of testing during a game week. On Friday, or the day before the game, the teams are tested by a third party selected by the ACC office. ACC schools are required to test three times per week in football. One PCR test must be administered three days before the game.
The Tigers and the Seminoles both have Dec. 12 as an open date, but the game has not yet been rescheduled. No player names were revealed.
Players from both sides, including Lawrence and Florida State defensive end Janarius Robinson, seemed ready to play Saturday.
The ACC also announced several other schedule adjustments Saturday. The Louisville at Boston College game that was recently moved to Dec. 12 will now be played Nov. 28. The Wake Forest at Louisville game originally scheduled to be played Nov. 28. has been moved to Dec. 19. The ACC also announced the Wake Forest at Duke game originally set for Nov. 21 but was postponed has been canceled.