LSU coach Ed Orgeron says 2 or 3 football players tested positive for virus

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Tuesday that two or three football players are currently out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Orgeron declined to say who tested positive, but added later that the players were asymptomatic and are quarantining.

Speaking to reporters the day after opening preseason camp, Orgeron expressed optimism about the SEC's ability to have a football season despite several other conferences, including the Big Ten and Pac-12, postponing all fall sports.

Orgeron said he expects a spike in cases now that students have returned to campus, but it's their job to "overcome it and flatten it out so Sept. 26 we can play football."

"I am convinced we're going to play," he said, "and I think it's the best thing to do, and I think it's the right thing. But, again, I'm not a doctor and it's not my decision. But I am convinced."

The defending national champions will have to move forward without defensive lineman Justin Thomas, who, Orgeron said, has left the team. Thomas, who played in five games last season, was expected to compete for a starting spot on defense.

LSU has had two players opt out thus far -- defensive end Neil Farrell and cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. The Tigers open the season on Sept. 26 at home against Mississippi State.