BYU quarterback Zach Wilson reveals he had COVID-19 over the summer

BYU Football held a press conference Monday ahead of Saturday’s home opener against Troy, where starting quarterback Zach Wilson revealed he contracted COVID-19 over the summer and is now in a 90-day “exempt period” until the team’s game against Louisiana Tech on Oct. 2. He continues to be tested regularly along with the rest of the team.

Wilson believes he contracted the virus at a “gambling night” over the summer with some friends and teammates. According to the 90-day window, he would have tested positive in early July. He said he had “cold-like” symptoms for about four days.

Wilson likened his approach to the virus to that of NFL quarterback Kirk Cousins’ perspective. Cousins was quoted as saying “if I die, I die,” and said he was not concerned about having the virus himself, but wears a mask out of respect for others. Wilson echoed this sentiment and mentioned a teacher from his alma mater Corner Canyon High School being in the ICU due to COVID as a point of motivation to take the virus seriously.

The junior quarterback stated the importance of wearing masks at practice and social distancing, but was spotted by a Universe reporter without a mask on at Smith’s Marketplace in Provo on Sept. 10, just days before the team’s game against Army was canceled due to cases on the team.

Wilson said he plans on looking for new, more private housing once his 90-day exemption runs out in order to avoid the risk of getting infected from a roommate. He said at this point he and his teammates “would just rather play football.”

Zach Wilson leads the team onto the field for practice during fall camp in August. Wilson revealed on Monday he tested positive for COVID-19 over the summer. (BYU Photo)

Senior safety Zayne Anderson followed up Wilson in the press conference and said the team does not tell players when teammates test positive. He said they might hear about it from the infected person or from others, but they are “on their own” a lot of the time in avoiding exposure.

Anderson mentioned the importance of social distancing and staying away from players who may be “going out and about” more often. He encouraged everyone in Utah County to avoid large gatherings to help stop the spread so the team can continue its season.

Head coach Kalani Sitake said “everybody is in play” as of right now for the home opener against Troy, but also reiterated that they are learning more about the virus each day, and will do more testing before Saturday.

Sitake backed up Wilson’s concern about roommates and says that is largely how it is spreading among BYU students and is a big part of the contact tracing being done, requiring those who have had contact with an infected person to quarantine for 14 days, as opposed to just 10 for a positive case.

Update: TMZ and Bleacher Report picked up Wilson’s comments and shared them on Monday evening, specifically pointing to the Cousins connection and Wilson’s apparent lack of concern.

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