FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas wide receiver group took a hit in Saturday’s scrimmage with at least three players sidelined for varying periods of time.
In addition to the season-ending knee injury suffered by senior Deon Stewart, junior Jordan Jones and transfer Kendall Catalon got dinged up.
True freshman Trey Knox competed in the scrimmage but missed Monday’s practice No. 15 due to an illness. He is expected back today.
Jones suffered a left high ankle sprain and is expected to be out up to four weeks, Coach Chad Morris said while making an unscheduled media appearance Monday to update injuries. Morris compared Jones’ issue with that suffered by defensive end Eric Gregory.
“Eric should be back here within the next week,” Morris said. “[Jones] had the same procedure done, the minor surgery on it today. So hope to get him back sooner than later.”
Morris said Catalon’s injury was a recurrence of a previous issue, but he didn’t name it. Catalon, a transfer from Southern University, is ineligible this season.
Stewart was the most experienced receiver on the roster.
“It’s something that when he went down Saturday, we didn’t think much of it,” Morris said. “We thought that it was just something minor, and we went in that afternoon for an MRI. It’s unfortunate for him. What a great young man, a great leader. He will definitely be missed.”
Morris said the university would go ahead and prepare the paperwork to request a sixth year of eligibility for Stewart, who redshirted in 2015.
The Razorbacks worked on the hottest day of camp thus far, with the temperature at 95 degrees and a heat index of 106. The temperature on the artificial turf practice field was hotter than that.
“It was very tough,” cornerback Montaric Brown said. “The heat got to us. We got a little fatigued and out of technique. We’ve just got to work on that and give more effort.”
Said defensive tackle T.J. Smith, “The heat was kinda waiting on us a little bit. I mean, it was rough, but we pushed through.”
Tight end Grayson Gunter said it was the hottest practice of camp.
“At the end of the day, we kick off against Portland State at 3 o’clock, so we’ve got to get used to that and learn how to play in those conditions,” he said.
Later, speaking to the media, Morris said, “Good hot day today. Like it.”
Colton Jackson, who missed practices last week due to a foot injury, was back Monday at first-team left tackle during the early period that was open to the media.
“We knew he was going to get back today,” Coach Chad Morris said. “That will just be something that we’ll have to work him and watch his foot and just kind of not overwork him.”
Morris said left guard Austin Capps (sprained knee) is on the brink of returning.
“We may get him today,” Morris said. “Looks like he may try to get in tomorrow and get some reps, if not Thursday or later in the week. We probably will not scrimmage him on Wednesday.”
Myron Cunningham worked some at right guard due to Jackson’s return, while Kirby Adcock continued to take reps at first-team left guard.
Offensive lineman Audrey Horn of Little Rock Catholic was with the offensive line group, working in a helmet and shorts because he’s still in the acclimatization window.
Coach Chad Morris said Mike Woods, the first-team wideout at the 9 position, would take some reps at the 2 spot, where the injured Deon Stewart and Jordan Jones were atop the depth chart, as well as De’Vion Warren, the would-be starter at the 5 (slot) position.
“Mike Woods will get out there some,” Morris said. “Obviously we know about De’Vion and what he can do out there for us. Treylon Burks will be working some at that spot, at that 5 man, Trey Knox at that 9 man. So we’re kind of moving some guys around.”
Morris suggested Koilan Jackson, who had clean-up arthroscopic surgery, might be back Thursday or Friday, and tight end Cheyenne O’Grady should be back early next week.
A variety of players are auditioning for the lead punt return role held by Stewart, including Montaric Brown, Ladarrius Bishop, Jalen Catalon and Burks.
Award for Smith
There’s another award named in honor of Frank Broyles, the Razorbacks’ legendary coach and athletic director, in addition to the nation’s top assistant coach.
Coach Chad Morris has created the Broyles Razorback Award for a player, and the first recipient is senior defensive end T.J. Smith.
“It’s an award that we’ve been wanting to give,” Morris said before Smith was announced as the winner. “I’ve been thinking about it for close to a year. Wanted to do the right time to give it out, and this was the right time.
“Basically what we want is to just continue to educate our young men on what Coach Broyles did, not just for this university but for our entire state of Arkansas and for college football and his love of the Hogs.”
Smith said he never met Broyles, but he knows about his legacy.
“It’s hard to walk around Fayetteville and not know who he is,” Smith said. “So it’s an honor just seeing different videos about him and knowing what he’s done for the University of Arkansas and what he’s done for the state of Arkansas.”
Morris said it’s a prestigious award.
“It’s something that I hope is given to a player as long as they play football here,” Morris said. “It’ll be something that’s very, very special. We’ll find a place here in the building on the wall to make sure we recognize these young men each year.”
Cornerback Montaric Brown had interceptions in each of the two major scrimmages, and he nabbed another one Monday.
“Yes sir, I’m just doing my job,” Brown said. “It feels good, but I’m not satisfied. I want more than just two.”
Safety Joe Foucha had an interception in the scrimmage on a pass tipped to him by Brown.
“Yeah, I’m just doing my part,” Brown said. “Helping my teammate being in the right position.”
Top 25 foes
Four teams on Arkansas’ schedule are in The Associated Press Top 25 poll released Monday, and two more opponents just missed the cut.
The Razorbacks will play No. 2 Alabama, No. 6 LSU, No. 12 Texas A&M and No. 16 Auburn.
Missouri had 117 points and was the first team left out of the poll. Mississippi State had 87 points and was the third team left out.
Tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. was asked about senior Hayden Johnson being “a forgotten man” at the position.
“I don’t forget about him,” Lunney said. “He might end up doing my knee surgery one day. That’s the doctor. We call him the doctor.
“Hayden’s going to med school one day. He’s brilliant. We love him. He stands for everything good about football.”
Lunney said Johnson will play on several special teams and also be a fullback in short-yardage and goal-line situations.
“He loves football. He’s physical,” Lunney said. “He does everything right. He’s not perfect, but he does everything right.”
Lunney, a senior quarterback on Arkansas’ 1995 SEC West division winner, was asked whether he has a bad knee that will require surgery from Dr. Johnson.
“No,” he said. “But I might one day. I’m just saying, that’s proactive thinking. You want to be on the doctor’s good side if he ever gets you under the knife.”
Former Razorback defensive tackle Briston Guidry, who retired during the offseason due to a medical hardship, was assisting Kenny Ingram with the defensive tackles.
Longtime former Arkansas assistant coach Louis Campbell hung out on the sidelines with former Tulsa coach Dave Rader and Bobby Allen, the longtime Razorback assistant who is now director of NFL and high school relations.
Sports on 08/20/2019
Print Headline: Two more WRs hurt Saturday
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