U Sports season-opener in question after Montréal player tests positive for COVID-19

Photo courtesy: Carabins Athletics

The Université de Montréal and Université de Sherbrooke were set to open the 2021 U Sports season on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET, but a case of COVID-19 has put the game in question.

As per a team release, a fully-vaccinated member of the Carabins was put into isolation on Wednesday when he started experiencing symptoms of the virus. He was tested for COVID-19 on Thursday and it was determined on Friday that he’d tested positive.

Fifteen players who trained with the individual during the practice week were administered tests on Saturday morning. If any of these tests yield a positive result, the game will be cancelled. The game can proceed in the event that all the tests all come back negative.

The Carabins are concerned that Montréal’s regional public health department will only allow the tested players to participate if they are masked throughout the game, which the team considers untenable. If this were a requirement, the game would still be cancelled.

In the event that the game is able to proceed, it will begin at a new time of 4:00 p.m. ET.

Saturday’s game between the Montréal Carabins and Sherbrooke Vert et Or would be the first U Sports football game played since the 2019 Vanier Cup as the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Calgary Dinos won a national title in November 2019 at Telus Stadium in Laval with a 27-13 win over the Université de Montréal Carabins.

McGill University is set to take on Université Laval on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET in the second game of the U Sports season-opening weekend.

The AUS doesn’t get underway until Friday, Sept. 10, while Canada West open its season on Sunday, Sept. 12, and the OUA kicks-off on Saturday, Sept. 18.