A week ago, Kansas State coach Chris Klieman's COVID-19 concerns centered on his younger players.


Now he's just hoping the Wildcats will have enough healthy bodies to play Saturday at Iowa State.


"We're right on the cusp," Klieman said Monday morning during the Big 12 coaches teleconference. "Hopefully we have a good week this week from a COVID standpoint, because we're right on the cusp.


"I can't tell you the exact numbers, but we had more than we would have liked that got crossed out last week."


Klieman said he's less concerned about meeting the 53-player threshold than about shortages at specific positions as the Wildcats prepare to head to Ames, Iowa, for a 3 p.m. kickoff against the No. 17-ranked Cyclones.


A spike in COVID-19 cases already forced Klieman and his staff to adjust last week's practice schedule during a bye week. The original plan was to evaluate younger players with an eye toward recruiting needs.


"We worked some Iowa State stuff," he said. "Just with a young team, especially on offense, we needed to get probably ahead a little bit with the difficult defense that we're going to face.


"And then we worked some our young players as well. We would have liked to have worked more, but COVID had hit our young kids about a week ago, so that we were down a good chunk of our freshman class. That was unfortunate, so we didn't get as much developmental work as we would have liked, but a mix between those two things."


Despite the fact that 15 college games were canceled last week because of the virus, Klieman was steadfast in his belief that it is safe to continue playing.


"Absolutely, it is. We've proven that," he said. "But unfortunately there's spikes across the country, so I think there's going to be more cancellations, unfortunately.


"We hope we're not one of them, but you just never know. It's not a week-to-week operation, it's a day-to-day operation, and that's the unfortunate thing. You just don’t know what players you're going to have on a day-to-day basis."


The Wildcats took their biggest hit the first two games of the season against Arkansas State and Oklahoma, but now they're facing another spike.


"We've been pretty good up until about 10 days ago," Klieman said. "So we've got to cross our fingers that we have a really good week this week with testing."


By contrast, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell reported no active cases for the Cyclones. "We're 100% healthy," he said.


Whether K-State will make it through its remaining three games with no postponements or cancellations remains to be seen.


"I think (an increase in cases is) unfortunately going to continue across the country — not just at Kansas State (but) across the country just as we see everything spike," Klieman said. "As many kids as we've had have COVID — and I don't have the numbers, but I know it's more than half of our team — you've still got a bunch of guys that haven't, that really worries you.


"Because for whatever reason — probably the cold weather — the infections are going up again."