GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina continued its spring football practice schedule Wednesday afternoon with another two-hour workout in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts. The session, conducted inside the Cliff Moore Complex, was the Pirates' 10th overall and eighth in pads.
Sophomore Shane Carden, one of four candidates vying for the Pirates' starting quarterback job, will miss the remainder of spring drills because of a right index finger injury. Carden suffered the injury Monday during the team phase by inadvertently hitting his hand on a helmet during a follow-through on a pass. An early medical prognosis includes an early summer return to active status and subsequent participation in throwing drills.
Wednesday's practice, carried out in unseasonably warm temperatures and completed just prior to the arrival of thunderstorms, also initiated preparation efforts for ECU's second intra-squad scrimmage of the spring, which is scheduled for Saturday morning at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
"I was proud of how well they adjusted to things today," head coach Ruffin McNeill said. "We had to change our schedule as we went along today because of the approaching weather, and because the transition was so smooth, I don't think we missed a beat. We were able to get in a lot of situational work and that's obviously always one of our key objectives each spring."
McNeill also continued to address the tempo on both sides of the ball, speeding things up during the traditional 26-minute team-on-team segment that junior safety Damon Magazu highlighted from a defensive perspective with an interception inside the redzone. Kickoff returns, including coverage responsibilities, were stressed during both special teams periods.
NOTES: Head coach Ruffin McNeill announced that redshirt freshman outside linebacker Demetrius McKelvie has left the program ... McKelvie, who earned a roster position as a walk-on last fall after a brief stint in professional baseball, indicated he was exploring options for a return to the diamond after the conclusion of the spring academic semester ... McNeill proudly earned grandfather status Wednesday when daughter Renata gave birth to a baby girl - Isabella ... Without classes on the ECU campus in observance of Good Friday, the Pirates will conduct an earlier practice with a 10:45 a.m. start.
EAST CAROLINA'S 2012 SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Next Workout: Friday, April 6 (10:45 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.)
Remaining Workouts: April 7 (scrimmage), April 9, April 11 and April 14 (Purple-Gold Game, 2:30 p.m.)