By BRETT MARTEL – AP Sports activities Author
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – New Orleans Saints quarterback Ian Ebook says that due to the unpredictability of COVID-19, he and reserve teammate QB Trevor Siemian have adopted the motto: “Prepare.”
Now, with the COVID-19 outbreak infecting at the very least 15 Saints gamers and several other coaches, Ebook is on the verge of seeing how prepared he actually is.
The Notre Dame rookie briefly turned New Orleans’ No. 1 QB on Friday and is predicted to make his regular-season NFL debut as a starter towards the Miami Dolphins within the Superdome on Monday night time. .
“It was an unbelievable alternative,” Ebook mentioned Friday night time. “I do not know the way it will really feel. I’ve performed within the large video games, however I feel that is the largest alternative, clearly proper now, we’re execs and that is Monday Night time Soccer. ”
Ebook, who has been out of motion for the primary 14 video games of his profession, reckons he’ll play as common Saints beginning quarterback Taysom Hill known as on Thursday to announce he had thought-about examined constructive for COVID-19. Siemian additionally had a constructive check end result simply earlier than Hill, making Ebook the one constructive QB on the record.
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“I did the maths there fairly rapidly,” says Ebook.
On Friday, New Orleans signed veteran Blake Bortles, however coach Sean Payton mentioned the plan stays for Ebook to start.
There’s additionally the chance that Hill or Siemian might check the COVID-19 protocol in time to be activated by Monday night time, however Ebook mentioned he cannot afford to think about that chance.
“I am planning to compete,” Ebook mentioned. “You’ll be able to’t flip that change on Monday morning, making an attempt to prepare. It would not work like that, particularly in midfield.”
When Ebook receives play calls within the ear of his helmet, the voice he’ll hear might be Payton’s. The coach returned to apply on Friday after his personal match with COVID-19 compelled him to quarantine for a few week and missed the staff’s win at Tampa Bay on Sunday night time.
Whereas Payton mentioned Ebook is throwing properly and seems to be a “good scholar of the sport,” he additionally confused that serving to Ebook play to his strengths and really feel comfy is as much as the coach. members and the entire staff.
“Clearly you’ve a brand new again 4, but it surely’s not only a again 4,” Payton mentioned. “It is the others who paint the correct image, we’re good in soccer and protection.
“He’ll do properly. He is excited concerning the alternative,” Payton added. “It is as much as us to present him the correct stuff for the sport and the place we’re attacking.”
The timing appears random for Ebook. His household might be visiting for Christmas, together with a brother who’s in army coaching camp at Fort Benning, Georgia. All have been scheduled to attend the sport, as did former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, who left Eire on the finish of the faculty soccer season to take over at LSU.
And Books’ first alternative additionally got here after months of witnessing and researching how Payton’s offense unfolded. Each time there is a mistake in apply or a recreation, Ebook notes, “I’ve to consider carefully.”
Payton says he is not fearful about Ebook’s poise — not in any case the massive video games he is performed for Notre Dame, the place Ebook has received a faculty document 30 video games over 4 seasons.
“He is performed in actually large video games and he is carried out it constantly – in the event you’re measuring wins and losses – higher than any quarterback in Notre Dame historical past,” Payton mentioned. . “Clearly, there is a transition to this stage, however I feel he is up for the problem.”
Saints gamers have additionally been supportive, Ebook mentioned. Jameis Winston, the QB injured saint who began seven video games earlier than his season-ending ACL tear, wrote the Ebook a “good notice.” Hill and Siemian gave directions over the cellphone.
“I’ve this entire staff behind me,” says Ebook. nice. ”
After all, the identical virus outbreak that gave Ebook this chance has additionally robbed the roster of a number of standout gamers this week, together with midfielder and defensive captain Demario Davis, protected Malcolm Jenkins and proper participant Ryan Ramczyk. However the Ebook would not sound correct.
“There’s one million excuses on the market that is what I imply, and we’re not going to make use of them,” Ebook mentioned. “Simply go on the market and play, have enjoyable. That is soccer.”
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