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Several players wonder now if it was COVID-19.
“It was really weird,” Bighill said. “You look back now and I contemplate how many people had COVID-like symptoms. I had a cough, I had massive congestion. For one day I was feeling lethargic, energy-less. And it lasted for probably a month after the Grey Cup. It was a respiratory feeling.”
Bighill says his dad, who was at the Grey Cup, had it for a month and a half.
“I was miserable,” Gauthier said. “I was exhausted on the field, not doing that much. After that I was coughing a lot, I would sweat during the night, but I was freezing also. It was the whole flu symptoms. It was like that the whole week.”
Jeffcoat got it bad after the last full practice, on Friday.
“At night I started feeling terrible,” the D-lineman said. “I had fever, chills, all that.”
Jeffcoat’s roommate, Willie Jefferson, played nurse, helping him stay hydrated and eat right.
“I made sure we had plenty of water, plenty of Gatorades,” Jefferson said. “We did Pedialytes, salt packets. When we did eat, he ate light.”
Head athletic therapist Al Couture says it’s “extremely unlikely” it was COVID. Canada’s first confirmed case was still two months away, after all.
Whatever it was, it just had to run its course.
“Keeping them apart is a fictitious idea,” Couture said. “You can try. But you’re not going to. I mean, Day 1 a guy starts feeling sick, and then the roommate’s feeling it also. Then what’s the point?
“Rest is crucial. And that’s a brutal week to try to get rest.”
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