Washington State starting quarterback Jayden de Laura has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t play for the team in Saturday’s game against Stanford, The Spokesman-Review has learned through multiple sources.
It’s unclear if other members of WSU’s football team have tested positive or if any have been placed in contact tracing protocol. The Cougars are scheduled to fly to the Bay Area on Friday morning or afternoon for their third game of the 2020 season.
If de Laura is placed in a 14-day quarantine, it means WSU’s quarterback wouldn’t be available for the Nov. 27 Apple Cup. Redshirt sophomore Cammon Cooper and redshirt freshman Gunner Cruz are listed as potential backups to de Laura on the team’s depth chart.
According to a source, Cruz took the first-team reps at practice Thursday. Regardless, one of the two backups will be making his first start — and getting his first collegiate snaps — at 7:30 p.m. at Stanford Stadium.
Leading up to last week’s home game against No. 11 Oregon, WSU’s football and men’s and women’s basketball teams had registered just five positive tests since the department rolled out daily antigen testing close to two months ago. A school official confirmed to reporters last week at least one of those positive tests had come from the football program, but that player was at the end of his mandated quarantine and cleared to play against the Ducks.
De Laura, a true freshman from Honolulu, has flourished in his first two games as the team’s starting quarterback, throwing for four touchdowns and one interception and rushing for another touchdown.
Against Oregon State and Oregon, he went 43 of 72 passing the air for 548 yards and rushing for 54 yards on 16 carries. De Laura led the Cougars to a 38-28 victory over the Beavers in the opener, but the Ducks erased a five-point halftime deficit to win 43-29 at Martin Stadium.
Pro Football Focus recently gave de Laura the second-highest grade among college quarterbacks for performance in the second half with a grade of 92.0.