The exact ailment, however, remains a mystery.
“He’s being given all types of tests and everything comes back negative,” Woodland coach Larry Strain said. “Everything from mono to you name it, they’ve done it — and they can’t figure it out.”
Howard was last with the Bobcats in a Sunday film session on Oct. 14. He was admitted two days later.
Howard was an Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 2A All-State honorable mention running back last season after rushing for 1,602 yards and 19 touchdowns on 243 carries.
This season the 5-foot-10, 200-pound senior has rushed for 904 yards and 12 touchdowns on 133 carries. He’s rated as a two-star player by Rivals.com and holds a scholarship offer from Alabama State with medium interest from schools ranging from Football Championship Subdivision to some in the Southeastern Conference.
This is the third time in “several years” these symptoms have come up — once during spring training, Strain said. But never have they lasted this long.
Strain said at one point doctors diagnosed him the Mediterranean flu (an inflammatory disorder that causes recurrent fevers and painful inflammation of the abdomen, lungs and joints, according to mayoclinic.com), but doctors have since ruled that out.
“They’re at wits end right now trying to figure out,” he said. “They’re running some tests today (Monday) trying to pinpoint it.”
Howard last played against Wellborn, where he rushed for 287 yards and scored six touchdowns. The Bobcats were able to pull off a 43-29 win Friday night over Pleasant Valley without his services.
When he returns is anybody guess.
“It’ll be dependent on what the doctors say about it,” Strain said. “If he’s capable of going and playing completely depends on them. It’s an indefinite thing.”