Bronco Beat

Chickenpox is affecting one Boise State football rival, and their coach fears it could get worse

In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, San Diego State Aztecs running back Rashaad Penny runs the ball against the South Alabama Jaguars during the first half in Mobile, Ala.
In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, San Diego State Aztecs running back Rashaad Penny runs the ball against the South Alabama Jaguars during the first half in Mobile, Ala. AP

Rocky Long’s teams at San Diego State are renowned for being tough, but something most of us had as little kids is taking some of the Aztecs off the field.

Chickenpox.

Yes, the highly contagious, itchy viral infection that causes those sweet looking red bumps. And like when your mom made you play with kids that had it so you could get it and be done with it, being in close proximity is causing multiple guys in the locker room to get it.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, three Aztecs — junior offensive tackle Ryan Pope and senior linebackers Tyler Morris and Temerick Harper — currently have it. Pope is a starter, while the other two are backups. Long fears it may not be the last of the cases.

“I’m afraid that it might not be just three of them,” Long said after Saturday night. “The team’s been together for a whole week now.

“It’s dramatic if we lose a few more. ... What if it hits 10 other ones?”

Long said medication likely will keep the players out a week, though if it isn’t effective, it could be three weeks. He added that some players were unsure if they had it or not, or had the vaccine that was introduced 20 years ago, so trainers were getting in contact with families and doing medical histories.

“This is scary because it might spread through the whole team,” Long said.

San Diego State, the two-time defending Mountain West champion, is the preseason favorite to win the West Division, and Boise State is the Mountain Division favorite. The teams face off Oct. 14 in San Diego.

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