Updated 11/9/2021: this article has been updated to include more information from Cal Athletics.
The Cal football game this week against USC has been postponed, as first reported by Pac-12 reporter Jon Wilner. There are several players for the Bears who are unable to practice and play in the game because of their positive COVID-19 tests.
Cal-USC game is off.Bears can’t play. First FBS game off this season bc Covid issues https://t.co/pzE43Fnknk
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) November 9, 2021
The postponement follows a week filled with COVID-19 outbreaks in the Cal football program. There has been much speculation about the outbreak’s effect on the rest of the season, since Cal played Arizona without several key starters Nov. 6. The Bears were missing 24 players due to COVID-19 protocols against the Wildcats. Now that the Nov. 13 game against USC has been postponed, many are curious about how long the COVID-19 outbreak will last.
This is the first Football Bowl Subdivision game to be postponed this year due to COVID-19 complications, according to a tweet from Jon Wilner. While the postponement of the Bears versus Trojans game is disappointing to teams and fans alike, Cal is left with slim choices amid a large COVID-19 outbreak in its team.
Cal Athletics contacted the Pac-12 about rescheduling the game. Less than an hour after initially postponing the game, Cal Athletics announced the Bears will host USC on Saturday, Dec. 4. This means the Bears will now face off against the Trojans after they take on the Cardinal on Nov. 20 and Bruins on Nov. 27. This change in schedule will certainly alter the direction of Cal’s season and give the team additional time to control the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Bears are already familiar with COVID-19-induced cancellations after a 2020 season where three games were canceled and only four were played. While the beginning of the 2021 season got off to a successful start with no cancellations or outbreaks, the Bears have hit an unfortunate roadblock.
USC currently has a 3-4 conference record while Cal is 2-4 in the Pac-12 after its loss to Arizona. Both teams have a losing record, but are still chasing bowl eligibility.