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Sources: Deion Sanders not expected to coach second consecutive Jackson State game

Coach Prime is both recovering from foot surgery last month and also dealing with illness, sources tell FootballScoop.
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Deion Sanders' very serious health situation is expected to continue into this weekend, with sources at multiple Southwestern Athletic Conference programs telling FootballScoop on Friday that Sanders is not expected to coach his Jackson State team this weekend.

Per sources, Sanders remains hospitalized in a Jackson, Mississippi-area hospital, and “it's extremely unlikely Sanders is able or allowed to coach this weekend.”

Sanders still is recovering from foot surgery on Sept. 22, 2021, as well as dealing with unspecified illness, per sources.

The Tigers are scheduled to play Saturday at Mississippi Valley State (4 p.m. ET), a SWAC rival located 100 miles north of Jackson.

FootballScoop has asked Jackson State's sports information department for comment but as of publishing has not heard back from the Tigers' program.

JSU, winner of four games in a row, 6-1 overall and climbing to No. 16 in the AFCA Top 25, is coming off a 42-12 win against Bethune-Cookman in which Sanders was unable to coach the team, due to medical reasons.

Gary Harrell is running the Tigers' program in Sanders' absence, with Sanders last week calling Harrell his right hand.

In his appearance Monday on the SWAC coaches' video conference, Harrell addressed Sanders' absence.

“With the sudden change for us, luckily the foundation has been laid by Coach Prime,” Harrell said. “You mentioned the word consistency, we've kind of handled that also with the foundation and being consistent our schedule and our core values. Trying to be smart, fast, tough disciplined.

“We hang our hats on those words.”

Sanders' arrival a year ago atop the Jackson State program continues to generate unprecedented buzz for both the school and the league, with the Tigers off to a historically strong start for the football program.

Seeking their first SWAC title in almost 15 years, JSU also is trying to earn its first-ever Celebration Bowl bid. Sanders also is publicly lobbying for the SWAC to regain its Football Championship Series playoff participation, something other league leaders also are now addressing.