JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas State head football coach Blake Anderson met the media Monday for his weekly press conference.
Along with breaking down the Coastal Carolina matchup, Anderson revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.
“I tested positive, and I ran a fever for 10 days. And I know that’s going to take a lot of people by surprise. I didn’t announce it like Mike Norvell did. But at the time, there were a lot of other things going on. And we knew we weren’t going to be playing, so knew I wasn’t going to miss a game. I actually got sick coming straight out of Kansas State game. I got sick within a couple days, started having symptoms. Physically tested positive on Wednesday (September 16th), but was sick within a couple days. As it turned out, I would not have been able to coach at that week (vs. UCA - originally scheduled for September 19th). That had zero bearing on us postponing the game. To be honest with you, it was strictly available bodies to play safely. That had nothing to do with me testing positive.”
Anderson is thrilled for his squad to return to action. A-State had to postpone non-conference games vs. UCA and Tulsa. Their depth chart was depleted due to injury, COVID-19 positive tests, and contract tracing.
“Lets just say it’s been a challenge. We have dealt with COVID and the reality of it as well as I think you can. We knew there was a risk when we got back to playing, and everybody chose to be here for the potential that we could have some guys both on and off the field that would catch it. And we did. Thought we were real fortunate to be able to play Kansas State, and to get a win under the circumstances, having close to 20 guys left at home, 10 starters. That didn’t stop there, it continued on and so we’ve had to postpone a couple games. But I’ll tell you that we have come out of it at this point stronger than we’ve went in. Guys are excited to play. We’re feeling better, we had a really good practice yesterday. Just in terms of their energy level and bouncing around. We should be going into conference play with a strong roster. Guys feeling good, and hopefully avoid a big kind of event, big number in the future. Appreciate everybody’s patience as we fought through it. But I do feel like we’re coming over the hurdle, and starting to look like ourselves. And you could tell the kids are real excited about the opportunity to play.”
Arkansas State faces Coastal Carolina Saturday in the Sun Belt Conference opener. Kickoff is at 11:00am on ESPN2.