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Ole Miss football shuts down Wednesday practice for COVID-19 concerns

The Ole Miss football program is hitting the pause button this week.

Out of an abundance of caution, all team activities were canceled on Wednesday due to contact tracing surrounding a small number of positive COVID-19 tests among players and staff.

Head coach Lane Kiffin told local media on Monday there were “a few” positive COVID-19 tests among players on Sunday following the Rebels’ Egg Bowl win over Mississippi State on Saturday.

More positive tests were revealed yesterday, which prompted the program to take another round of tests around noon on Wednesday.

“It is not enough to where we would not play right now but our concern is obviously the spreading of that,” Kiffin said on Wednesday. “So, we’re re-testing today. …If these all come back negative then we’ll continue things (Thursday).

Kiffin noted they will not get the results of Wednesday’s tests back until Thursday morning.

This is the first time Ole Miss (4-4) shut down practice during the season. The program dealt with a COVID-19 issue for a couple weeks during the middle portion of the season, but did not result in any games being postponed.

The Rebels are off this week after their Dec. 5 game at LSU was postponed to allow the Tigers to make up their game against No. 1 Alabama. That game was postponed earlier this season, when LSU dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak within the program.

The Southeastern Conference is expected to announce the schedules for Dec. 12 and 19 on Friday, with kickoff times and television station assignments to follow on Sunday. Ole Miss also has their game against Texas A&M that needs to be rescheduled. The Aggies postponed their Nov. 21 home game against the Rebels after they experienced a COVID-19 outbreak.