Arkansas Fighting Serious COVID Issues This Week

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FAYETTEVILLE — Last week Arkansas played Florida without its head coach, but this week they will be missing several players, including some starters, when they host LSU.

Sam Pittman was on the SEC Teleconference today and was asked about the COVID issue on the team and also how he’s feeling?

“Well, me personally I’m fine,” Pittman said. “I feel good and I’m glad to be back to work. We’ve had some positives this week that certainly will affect our football team. But per numbers mandated by the SEC, we’re still within that number, ratio, so we’re looking forward to playing.”

Sources indicated to some key players are not going to be able to play and at least two positions are very short on depth.

“We’ve got an adequate number of people to play,” Pittman responded.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron was asked if he has heard about Arkansas’ issues with COVID this week?

“I feel good,” Orgeron said. “I feel good. I haven’t heard anything yet, so we’re planning on playing. I feel like they are going to want to play and unless their numbers get so low. Our numbers got so low last week that it wasn’t in the best health of our football team. We couldn’t play. So I understand if their numbers get low but I haven’t heard anything.”

LSU will take the field on Saturday for the first time in 21 days. They had a bye on Nov. 7 and postponed against Alabama on Nov. 14.

“Very excited,” Orgeron said of playing this week. “We had an enthusiastic practice yesterday. Guys came back.  We had most of our guys back. By our take of practice yesterday our guys are ready to play.  We have to have a great day today, have a great week of preparation. We have to get up early in the morning and play against Arkansas which has a very good football team right now.”

Pittman reached out to Orgeron on Monday and the LSU coach talked about the conversation.

“Here’s what he wanted to tell me: ‘Coach, thank you for paving the way for line coaches to become head coaches,’’ Orgeron said. “He had told me that in the SEC meeting. We talked about a couple of things. He wanted to know how COVID was and I said, ‘We’re fine.’ He said, ‘Okay man, we’re going to be ready to play.’ And I congratulated him on what a great job he was doing. That’s about the extent of the conversation.”

Pittman had some vegetable mix he drank while down with COVID. He was asked who came up with that?

“Jamil Walker, actually. Our strength coach,” Pittman said. “His wife… fiance made it for me. I’m not positive all what was in it, I just trusted what was in it. It was a lot of vegetables and a little bit of honey, I believe. Instantaneously, it made me feel better.”

Will you continue to drink it?

“I don’t know,” Pittman said. “It’s not the greatest tasting stuff in the world, but it did make me feel better. I did not drink it this morning, but I may have a little half a glass at lunch.”

While he is undecided on the veggie mix, he is clearly going to continue walking with Barry Odom.

“Absolutely,” Pittman said. “As soon as I get off the call I’m headed that way.”

Arkansas and LSU are slated to kickoff at 11 a.m. in Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

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