Appy State's Edwards not playing, but ECU's Holtz still concerned

Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

Appalachian State star quarterback Armanti Edwards is unlikely to play in Saturday’s season opener against East Carolina, according to coach Jerry Moore.

Edwards suffered a deep cut, running from the top of his right foot to his little toe, from the blade of a push mower while mowing his lawn in early August.

Initially, Appalachian State was hopeful that Edwards would be ready for the season opener, but after returning to practice this week, Edwards has yet to go full speed or take all of the reps with the first team.

"It's not completely healed. There are 35 stitches in that (foot),” Moore told the Winston-Salem Journal. “It darned near cut his small toe off. It was a pretty critical cut. You can imagine the tenderness of it.

"We've never been much here on surprise starters and stuff like that. If Armanti could play, we'd play him. But I doubt very, very seriously if he could play. We're not going to put him out there, we're not going to put any player out there, that's not a lot closer to 100 percent than what he is right now."

East Carolina coach Skip Holtz was ready for this and spoke about it during his press conference on Monday.

“Everybody wants to make the biggest issue about their quarterback, Armanti Edwards, and if he's going to play,” he said. “We're not getting ourselves tied up into whether he will play because I think this football team is much more than just Edwards. He is a great player who has had great success. When you watch him on film, he has done some incredible things.

“But he didn't play against Western Carolina last year and his back-up accounted for over 300 yards and three touchdowns.”

That backup is DeAndre Presley, who likely will start against the Pirates. He completed 30 of 45 passes as a freshman last season for 379 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 415 yards and seven touchdowns.

Moore said the positive about Edwards’ injury is that he did it prior to camp, which allowed Presley and Travaris Cadet, a junior college transfer, to get the bulk of the reps and feel comfortable with the offense.

“They have recruited very athletic quarterbacks,” Holtz said. “That is their mindset. I think we're going to see a very good quarterback, whoever that is.”