Nelson Chenault - USA Today Sports

Arkansas State Quarterback Fredi Knighten injury

Fredi Knighten's recovery from groin pull

The Arkansas State Red Wolves are going ahead with plans for no Fredi Knighten for Saturday’s homecoming game against Idaho.

Knighten, the seniors starter who was injured in the third quarter of the Missouri game, said he is “about 80 percent” but will “probably not play” against the Vandals in the Sun Belt Conference opener. He suffered a groin pull in the third quarter of the Missouri game 16 days ago.

“I feel a lot better,’’ he said. “Just being out here and being able to go through actual practice feels a lot better mentally, emotionally. Physically I feel great, well not great, but better.

“I still have not been able to strike out and go full speed. We will wait a while before that happens.”

Knighten said he will try to go full speed in workouts this week to see how his leg responds. “I don’t want to the first time for me to go full speed to be in a game.”

For the season Knighten is 19 of 46 passing for 183 yards; James Tabary is 49 of 77 passes for 600 yards. Together they have thrown five touchdowns and eight interceptions.

“We talked with coach Bell and probably not going to go,’’ said Knighten, “but will prepare just in case something happens and I have to go. I could play Saturday but I just don’t want to risk it. I just don’t want to put that type of strain on the body and make it work.”

Knighten did a full workout with the Red Wolves on Tuesday and said he expects to be “sore” on Wednesday because it was his first full speed activity since the Missouri game.

If Knighten can’t go then redshirt freshman Tabary will get this third start. He is 1-1 as a starter, defeating Missouri State at home and losing to Toledo last Saturday. Tabary struggled against the Rockets and finished 18 of 35 for 223 yards and three interceptions.

“It happens, you not be perfect every night,’’ Knighten said of Tabary’s play.  “You try to limit mistakes; you can’t linger on it too long. Got to get ready for the next week. Go on to next pass, the next play.”

If Knighten does not play against the Vandals, he expect to be ready for the South Alabama game on Oct. 13. That would be 10 days after the Idaho game and almost a month since being injured on Sept. 19.

“You can’t force it,” he said. “You have to let run its course.”

In the meantime his role is to help Tabary and the offense.

“Just talking to James he was doing things out of character,’’ he said. “You’ve got to throw down to the backs and to be conscious of ball security. It was all self-inflicted.

“We have played some complicated defenses the first couple of weeks. Doing some different things. We will start having fun once we get into conference play.”

Audio courtesy: Randy Myers, The Ticket, AStateNation Radio 11am to 1pm Monday through Friday.