Sam Pittman shares latest update on his Arkansas roster after not having enough players to compete last weekend
Last week, Arkansas became the latest Southeastern Conference team that failed to have enough healthy players to compete due to a combination of positive COVID tests, players being in quarantine and injuries.
The Razorbacks were scheduled to play Missouri last Saturday, but instead, the Tigers played Vanderbilt. Now, as long as both teams have enough players to compete, Arkansas is scheduled to travel to Missouri this weekend.
During his first press conference of the week, Pittman opened with an update on the status of his Arkansas roster.
“We anticipate having a close-to-full roster,” Pittman said on Monday. “Our testing went well yesterday and between injuries that we had and the COVID, we feel we’re going to be pretty close to full speed.”
The Arkansas coach was later asked a follow-up regarding the conditioning of the players that have been out due to quarantine.
Can those players be relied upon to contribute against Missouri? According to Pittman, that shouldn’t be an issue.
“Quarantine is a little different than it was before in that they can get some individualized workouts,” Pittman added. “Before they weren’t able to do that, now they can.
“To be honest with you, we’ve been dealing with it all year, just a few more obviously now. I think we’ll be okay. We’re going to do business as usual this week. If I feel like at the end of practice if we haven’t had a spirited practice or that we need more conditioning, we’ll get that in early in the week — but I’m not expecting that.”
Saturday’s matchup with Missouri is a big one for Pittman’s program for a variety of reasons. The Tigers have won four in a row in the annual cross-divisional game and the Razorbacks have several former Missouri staff members working for Pittman.
In addition to that, Missouri has had a lot of success recruiting Arkansas in recent seasons. For Pittman to completely turn around the Arkansas program, he’s got to end losing streaks like this one and show that his first-year program is further along than Eli Drinkwitz’s Mizzou program.
Who knows, while of less importance for each respective program, SEC Coach of the Year honors could also be on the line come Saturday.
As we said, there’s a lot on the line on Saturday.