Temple football game delayed after player shows COVID-19 symptoms

Temple added 5 players to its COVID-19 list on Saturday morning.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Temple Football game was delayed for close to an hour Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field after a player showed symptoms of COVID-19.

The game between the Owls and the East Carolina Pirates was originally scheduled for a noon kickoff, but, instead, started at 12:50 p.m.

"Today's game is currently in a delay due to COVID protocol issues," Temple Football tweeted shortly after noon.



On the Temple Football radio broadcast, commentators Harry Donahue and Paul Palmer were unaware of the reasoning for the delay as they began wondering why the game had not started on time.

"We are kind of sitting here in limbo," Donahue said.

RELATED: What you need to know about Philly's new COVID restrictions
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The restrictions went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday and are in place through January 1, 2021.



After a commercial break, Donahue said, "We're hearing the reason for the delay may be health related, may be COVID related. That's all the information we have. We're not privy to anything else."

Rich Burg, Temple's Assistant Athletic Director for Football Communications, gave an update on the broadcast.

According to Burg, the team received a report that one of the Temple football players was showing symptoms of COVID. He was taken back to campus for a rapid antigen test. The team was waiting for those results which delayed the game.

"He was in the locker room when they noticed the symptoms. So obviously the entire staff and all the players were there," Burg said.

Burg said if the test result came back positive that would mean a possible cancelation of the game. Though there was no update on the test result, the game went on after a 50-minute delay.

Sources told Stadium network's Brett McMurphy that the player's girlfriend had first tested positive. He tweeted the Temple player's test did come back positive, as well.



The teams were on the field an hour before the start of the game, then they left the field shortly before noon, Donahue said.

The East Carolina Pirates confirmed both teams took the field for a brief warm-up period prior to game time.

RELATED: Temple Football Playbook: Ducis Rodgers talks with Coach Rod Carey as season kicks off

Temple added five players to its COVID protocol on Saturday: CB Christian Braswell, CB Kimere Brown, DE Arnold Ebiketie, LB George Reid, and CB Nate Wyatt.



In addition, Temple had three players on the COVID list this week who were unavailable for the game: QB Anthony Russo, OL Griffin Sestili, and OL Victor Stoffel.

Because of updated COVID-19 restrictions in Philadelphia, fans will no longer be permitted at the Linc for Temple or Eagles games.
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Philadelphia leaders have announced sweeping new restrictions as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the city.



"Temple supports these officials who have had to make tough decisions to ensure safety for everyone given the current health climate," Temple said in a statement earlier this week.

Fans with tickets should contact Temple Athletics Tickets Office at 215-204-8499 for either a full refund, a credit towards 2021 tickets, or donate/transfer the money already paid or another amount to the Temple Owl Club.

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