Grambling State Football
Photo: Carlton Hamlin/Grambling State Athletics

The road to the Bayou Classic has been a treacherous one for Grambling State.

The program is one loss away from finishing a regular season without a win for the first time in the history of Grambling State football.

Not to mention there has been upheaval within the coaching staff. Then its starting quarterback abruptly decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal.

But the biggest challenge of late — one that has threatened its season — is its team battle with COVID-19.

Last month, Grambling was forced to shutdown down its football operations for two weeks due to a combination of virus infections and contact tracing.

Also read: Positive tests, contact tracing forced Grambling State football shut down, athletic director says

This past week, the Tigers were just able to resume limited team activities but, according to head coach Broderick Fobbs, didn’t have its full allotment of players available to participate because of the continued impact of the virus.

“It’s really, really tough. You lose 3-4, and you gain 2-3. Once it (COVID) gets in, it’s hard to get it out, because it makes its way around your team,” Fobbs told The Patrick Netherton Show. “You’re one positive test away from losing an entire meeting room (position group), or even an entire side of the ball if you’re meeting with the offense or defense as one group. If that one kid (with a positive test) is in a meeting room with 15 other defensive backs, all of a sudden, your entire secondary is gone, all quarantined. You try to continue to meet, continue to play football, and build a team concept like you’re supposed to do. That’s what made it as challenging as it is.”

The last hurdle for Grambling will be the results of its last team required test prior to Saturday’s date with Southern in Shreveport.

“If we can get through Friday without any positive tests, I think we’ll be ready to go Saturday,” said Fobbs.

Leading up to the season finale, the veteran head coach talked about all the challenges that the 2021 spring season has brought.

It’s been really, really tough,” he said Monday during the SWAC Coaches’ Zoom media availability. “It’s been just as tough for everybody else, too. Everybody is going through a lot of the same things. But at the end of the day, we don’t get a pass for things that have happened. Everyone is having to try to manage their rosters and keep everyone in house.”

Fobbs was very candid in explaining the difference why his group has struggled of late with health compared to other programs in the SWAC.

“That’s just something everyone has done,” said Fobbs about teams managing COVID-19 protocols. “Some of us are doing a much better job than others. And obviously, we’re one of the ones that are not doing as good of a job as needed at this particular time.”


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