COVID outbreak, injuries force Texas A&M out of Gator Bowl

Texas A&M defensive lineman Micheal Clemons (2) returns a fumble by Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 20-3. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


It’s the latest casualty of the dramatic, omicron-fueled uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country. Due to an outbreak of the virus as well as player injuries, Texas A&M is out of the Gator Bowl, which is slated for Dec. 31 in Jacksonville, Florida. 

“Due to a combination of COVID-19 issues within the program, as well as season-ending injuries, the Texas A&M football roster is not in a position to safely participate in the upcoming Dec. 31 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl against Wake Forest,” Texas A&M Football tweeted Wednesday.

“It is unfortunate, but we just don’t have enough scholarship players available to field a team,” Aggie head football coach Jimbo Fisher added in a news release.

The No. 23 Aggies, coming off a huge win over Alabama on Oct. 9, were set to face No. 20 Wake Forest.

According to a report from Sports Illustrated, a replacement team could take Texas A&M’S place in the Gator Bowl, but that team would have to come from another impacted bowl game.

There has been no discussion so far about a cancellation or refunds. The game remains scheduled for an 11 a.m. EST kickoff at TIAA Bank Field.

“It is heartbreaking for our players, coaches, staff and fans that we are not able to play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl,” Texas A&M Director of Athletics Ross Bjork said. “Post-season football is the pinnacle of the season and when the opportunity is lost, it hurts on many levels. As we have learned in the last 21 months of this health challenge, the well-being and safety of our student-athletes is paramount. Our players poured their heart and soul into this season and we appreciate their dedication as Aggies. Aggie football is on track for long-term success and we know that the best is yet to come.”





Source link