Former UW and Seahawks defensive lineman Tyrone Rodgers has tested positive for the coronavirus, he confirmed to The Seattle Times in a text message on Friday.

Rodgers, 51, is at his home in Southern California. He acknowledged in a text message that it’s “hard to breathe,” but said he’d prefer not to go to a hospital until it is absolutely necessary.

The rate of positive tests in California has jumped by 51% over the last two weeks, according to an analysis by the Los Angeles Times. The state has also broken daily records for the number of people hospitalized with confirmed coronavirus cases for 12 consecutive days. On Wednesday, California reported 5,355 people hospitalized because of COVID-19, including 1,676 in intensive-care units.

Rodgers also suspects that his 16-year-old daughter, Samara, dealt with COVID-19 in February — though there was no testing available and she has since recovered. At the time, Samara was diagnosed with the flu and she missed an entire month of school because of the illness. During the COVID-19 quarantine, Samara and her mother did not leave their house for more than a month — and Tyrone self-isolated from his daughter — as a precaution.

“Samara’s getting a little stir crazy (in the house), but she knows what it was like when she was sick, and she doesn’t want to go through that again,” Tyrone Rodgers told The Times in a phone interview in April, before he contracted COVID-19. “When I have to go out, she’s like, ‘Dad, do you really need to go there?’ She’s on me.”

After transferring from the University of Oklahoma to Washington in 1989, Rodgers — a 6-foot-3, 271-pound defensive lineman — helped lead the Huskies to back-to-back Rose Bowl wins and a 1991 national title. After going undrafted in 1992, he played three NFL seasons and 37 games as a defensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks. He currently works in personal protection, providing security for the likes of rapper Snoop Dogg and more.


And now he’s faced with a different kind of opponent.

“People need to look at life. It’s short. It’s precious,” Rodgers said in April’s interview, before he tested positive for the coronavirus. “Things can take a left turn at any moment. Some of these (social-distancing) rules, if you do it now, sit back and sacrifice the time now so you can live longer.

“What would you give if you could sacrifice something to have someone in your family here on this Earth longer?”