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A-State Football Coach Blake Anderson Discusses COVID-19

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Chase Gage

After postponing play for two weeks, the Red Wolves are looking to start conference play at Coastal Carolina.

The Arkansas State Red Wolves football team had to postpone back-to-back contests due to COVID-19 complications.

Head coach Blake Anderson addressed the media Monday morning with hope that his team would be back on track to play at Coastal Carolina this weekend. Anderson said it’s been a challenge, but that his team has dealt with it as well as they could over the past two weeks.

“We knew there was a risk when we we got back to playing and everyone chose to be here, that there was a potential that guys both on and off the field would catch it, and they did. I thought we were really fortunate to be able to play Kansas State and to get a win under the circumstances,” Anderson said.

Despite missing “close to 20 guys”, including 10 starters, the Red Wolves were able to pull off a 35-31 victory against the Kansas State Wildcats in week two. However, the Red Wolves have not been able to play a game since.

What was supposed to be the home-opening game against UCA was postponed as well as Arkansas State’s homecoming matchup with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. In both cases, the Red Wolves were unable to safely fill a “certain position group” leading up to each game, though those position groups differed from the first postponement to the second.

Anderson noted that not only a handful of players had contracted the virus, but that he himself tested positive as well. He started showing symptoms within days of the Kansas State game and tested positive the following Wednesday. However, he remains hopeful the Red Wolves will be at or near full strength before conference play opens this weekend.

“We’ve dealt with positive cases in the past, but (last week) was the first time we dealt with a lot of guys that actually felt sick, including myself,” Anderson said. “We’re close to full strength at this point. The guys who have come out of isolation have done really well at practice. All of them are feeling much, much better.”

The Red Wolves open conference play Saturday, Oct. 3 against Coastal Carolina. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.