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Trojans return to action after postponement

The Troy Trojans return to the practice field this week after last week’s postponement due to a high number of positive COVID-19 tests.

Troy was scheduled to host No. 15 Coastal Carolina last Saturday, but due to a combination of positive COVID-19 tests and injuries to a specific position group, Troy was forced to postpone the game.

The Trojans will return to action Saturday afternoon when they host Middle Tennessee State.

“Disappointed obviously that we weren’t able to play last week,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “The way our conference has it’s protocols and guidelines set up, it’s obviously a good system that puts the interest of our student athletes at the forefront. It was a decision that we made. We know that COVID-19 is showing all over the country. I think we are in a better place currently for sure.”

The Trojans have tested once since last Friday and plan to test everyone again on Wednesday. They are hopeful the worst is behind them.

Along with having players test positive for the virus, the Trojans also had players banged up due to injury. They took the time off to rest and heal.

“Any time you get extra days to recover, I think that helps for sure,” Lindsey said. “We got caught up on COVID-19 a lot, but we still have regular injuries in football that need recovery too. With COVID-19 and regular injuries, sometimes it makes things tough and that is what we ran into last week. I think the time can help us. We had a couple of guys that were banged up but should be ready to go by Saturday now. We tried to take it as a blessing, especially since we were in a situation because of early cancellations that we were going to have to play 12 weeks without a bye.”

The Trojans returned to practice on Sunday night and Lindsey thought they practiced with a lot of energy.

Lindsey announced that players will be held out of Saturday’s game due to COVID-19, but at the time didn’t know how many players and who those players would be.

One player that may make his return is quarterback  Gunnar Watson. Watson left Troy’s game against Georgia State due to a rib injury. After missing the following two games, Lindsey is hopeful Watson will make his return this Saturday.

“He practiced Sunday. It looks more likely that he will have an opportunity to play if he has a good week,” Lindsey said. “He hasn’t recovered fully yet, but the extra week did help him. With his injury, it has been more about time in terms of getting him healthy. Hopefully, he will be ready to go on Saturday, but at the same time, we are getting other guys ready to go as well.” 

The Trojans now have had three games on their current schedule get postponed. Their opener against Louisiana Monroe as well as their game against in-state rival South Alabama was also pushed back due to COVID-19. On Tuesday, the Trojans announced make-up dates for all three contests. The Trojans will head to Mobile on December 5 to take on South Alabama. They will host Coastal Carolina on December 12 and ULM on December 17 if they are not playing in the Sun Belt Conference Championship.