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Covid19 Concerns Could Affect Pirates Saturday Against Navy

With the Navy game three days away, concerns loom about player availability this week for the Pirates.
With the Navy game three days away, concerns loom about player availability this week for the Pirates.

Amid rumors that are swirling around this week of possible major Covid19 concerns in the ECU locker room, head coach Mike Houston came on before to address things before his coordinators met for their usual weekly talk with the press.

“Just wanted to jump on real quick before the coordinators came on. I thought it was important to hear from me first today. We all knew this year would have a lot of uncertainty with the Covid pandemic,” said Houston, “With the news at the University of Alabama, there are things at the University of Florida, you know it’s a different year and we’re all dealing with a lot of stuff.”

“It’s not been easy to deal with. It’s a situation that we take very seriously with the way we handle it in our protocols. The big thing is I’ve been really, really proud of our young men and how they’ve handled everything we’ve asked them to do on a weekly basis,” Houston stated, “Obviously it’s not normal. It’s something that’s inconvenient. It’s difficult at times but they’ve done a great job of understanding the process and really are trying to do a great job of adhering to it.”

“We are dealing with some issues right now. We will continue to work through them as the week goes on. We had another round of testing today so it’s a situation that is still very fluid,” Houston said, “We’ve had two really good practices and particularly today. I’m really pleased with the way the team practiced today and the energy and effort, the performance. We were really able to correct some things from yesterday and they had a productive day. I feel really, really good about where we are going into the weekend. We’re facing a very talented Navy team this weekend. They’re very talented but I feel very confident that our team is going to be ready to go.”

While Houston did not have much to say in terms of who will be available after this week’s round of Coronavirus testing, what he was unwilling to say may have said more on Wednesday.

“I’m not going to get into or discuss who is really available or who’s not available right now. I’m excited about the group we have on the field,” said Houston, “We’ve had to make some adjustments but those adjustments have been made and are going to continue to be made. The staff is working very hard to ensure that we are ready for the game this weekend but we won’t have a true picture until later this week of what our roster is going to look like.”

“We knew it was going to be an abnormal year. Everybody understood that, our players understood that and I’m proud of the way they’ve handled that adversity.”

In terms of the quarterback situation, there are rumors running rampant that Holton Ahlers could be affected either directly or indirectly. When asked, Houston wouldn’t confirm or deny if Ahlers was in practice on Wednesday.

“I’m not discussing any players. I just wanted to get on here and address that,” said Houston.