Positive COVID-19 tests left Oklahoma with one player in position group for practice last week

NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley and his staff had to scramble last week after a round of COVID-19 tests led to multiple players being quarantined and held out of practice.

Riley relayed the story Tuesday in a Zoom conference with reporters when asked about the possibility of players playing — or preparing to play — multiple positions.

"We lose all but one person at a position group — a major position group on the field — and we have to practice that day with a position where we had multiple players on the field at one time and we had one player there," Riley said.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley stands on the sidelines during the third quarter of the 2019 Big 12 championship game against Baylor at AT&T Stadium. (Photo: Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports)

Riley, who declined to identify the position group, said he learned of the tests the night before practice.

Riley's description figures to come from the Aug. 17 tests, when five players tested positive according to data Oklahoma released Monday.

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"For us, it's been a call to every player on our roster that you've got to be willing to do whatever's called," Riley said. "Certainly it's on us to have a plan. I don't know that you can plan for all the scenarios because it can just go so deep right now, but I think you have a plan to cover as much of it as you can and we've certainly been working through it."

Oklahoma's Monday release said 17 players had active cases of COVID-19. Riley said Tuesday that "eight or nine" of those players were now back with the team.

COVID-19 hasn't been the only ailment for the Sooners, though.

"We've had a stomach bug that I think has been raging through this part of the country a little bit. It's knocked several of our guys out as well," Riley said. 

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