Air Force should get its leading rusher and full offensive line back to face Army on Saturday.
The rest of the team’s availability is less clear, with COVID-19 contact tracing again set to impact the roster.
As for who is available, The Gazette has learned fullback Timothy Jackson was held out against Boise State last week because of shoulder and hamstring injuries but should be available with the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy on the line at West Point. Jackson leads Air Force with 178 rushing yards.
Up front, center Nick Noyen’s (ankle) return to practice this week has the full offensive line working together for the first time since a 40-7 victory over Navy in the season opener as the Falcons ran for 369 yards.
Guards Nolan Laufenberg and Kyle Krepsz missed a loss at San Jose State while under quarantine become of a class with a fellow cadet who tested positive for COVID-19. Noyen then missed last week’s loss vs. Boise State.
“It’d be awesome to have the full line back together,” Noyen said. “It definitely would create a surge up front in the trenches and just rally some guys. Hopefully we’d have the same outcome we had vs. Navy with us five up front.”
While tailback Kadin Remsberg (chest/collarbone) figures to miss a second straight game, the Falcons may again have access to a pair of quarterbacks. Sophomore Haaziq Daniels, who left the game in the first quarter Saturday with an apparent shoulder injury, is apparently available, but the Falcons might also stick with junior Warren Bryan at the position.
The CBS Sports Network broadcast of the game said Daniels was given the OK to return in the second half Saturday, but Calhoun would not confirm that.
“I’m not going to answer that,” Calhoun said, sticking with his policy of avoiding any direct answers on questions of player availability.
Calhoun did, however, offer praises of Bryan, who completed 3 of 6 passes for 38 yards and ran 19 times for 87 yards in the 49-30 loss to Boise State.
“Just really a solid athlete,” Calhoun said. “The temperament that you want, I think especially at that position. Good football player; good basketball player in high school on a good team, too. … Great, great mom and dad. Just outstanding upbringing, at least in terms of guidance and love and mentoring. I think you see those same qualities as a leader and a quarterback, too.”
Bryan’s older brother, Will, played defensive back at Yale.
The Falcons rank second to last in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in passing yards per game (67.3), topping only Army (56.3).
On defense, Air Force figures to again be without inside linebackers Noah Bush and Will Trawick. Freshmen Alec Mock and Johnathan Youngblood figure to start together for the second straight week.
The remaining questions occur mostly lower on the depth chart and on special teams, where The Gazette has been told that as many as seven players could be held back because of coronavirus contact tracing, but the names of the specific players were not revealed.