Friday Grid Report, 8/15

Arkansas donned full pads for the first time, and the injury bug bit the wide receivers in a big way. A bright young star sustained what may be a serious knee injury.

The injuries have begun to mount, and most of them seem to be concentrated at wide receiver. Add David Thompson to the list that previously included Willie Hordge, Chris Baker and Carlos Ousley.

Thompson, redshirt freshman from Memphis, suffered what appered to be a serious knee injury in a full contact segment of practice while blocking for a screen pass.

"We don't know how bad it is, but it looked to be a serious injury," Houston Nutt said after practice. "He got rolled up pretty good on the screen. That's tough because he'd really been playing well."

Wideout coach James Shibest also was wincing after practice over Thompson's injury.

"I don't worry too much about the other (injuries)," he said. "They are hammies and those guys will be back. David's looked different. I don't feel so good about that one. I really hurt for him because of the kinda camp he was having. He was off to a great start."

Trainers said Thompson would have to undergo an MRI before complete results would be known.

Ousley, Hordge and Baker all missed their second straight day because of sore hamstrings.

"You don't know when they'll get back," Shibest said. "It could be three days or three weeks with a hamstring."

Cedric Washington moved from quarterback to wideout to help with the depth, and had an outstanding day.

"He looked great out there and made a lot of nice catches," Nutt said. "He's a guy who can really run."

However, Washington will still get some snaps at quarterback in preseason since he's the third teamer behind Matt Jones and Ryan Sorahan.

"If something happens to those two, then Cedric is next in line," Nutt said. "Our young ones aren't ready yet."

Roy Wittke, the quarterback coach, said the staff would meet Friday night on how to split Washington's meeting and practice time between wideout and quarterback.

"You never know, Cedric might have been at wideout for just one day," Wittke said.

The defensive line had a couple of players fall out Friday, the first day in full pads. Chase Pressley sustained a pulled hamstring early in the day and spent the rest of the morning on an exercise bike. Reggie Banks was helped off the field after middle drill with dehydration.

After five days of single practices, the Hogs will have two workouts on Saturday. The afternoon drill, scheduled for 3:30 p.m., will include the first major scrimmage of the fall.

"It gets a little tougher (with two workouts) tomorrow," Nutt said. "We've thrown a lot at them ... really the whole (play)book. And, now we'll back off on what we add. We will try to get the polish done.

"The scrimmage won't be much for guys like Clarke Moore and Caleb Miller, our starters that have played. We want to see the guys like James Johnson, Desmond Sims, Jayson Johnson and a lot of the freshman. We want to see what guys are ready to help us in games and see what they know."

Bobby Allen, secondary coach, continued to praise senior Tony Bua for his work at free safety.

"What has to happen now is for me to back off the field and see what they know without me standing behind them and telling them what they see," Allen said. "Tony knows it, I think. But, I'm going to be a long way from him during games (in the press box). I can't help him. So far, I feel good because he is seeing the same things I'm seeing and he is starting to play really fast.

"What we have to do is make sure we have another guy ready at free safety. We are looking to see if Lorienzon Robinson or Vickiel Vaughn know it, too. With the way Tony plays, you know there are going to be times that he hurts himself. He is trying to knock someone out and there will be times he knocks himself out. He had all kinds of injuries last year, so we need another guy ready."

Larence Richardson (1) and Batman Carroll work on a tackling drill.

Jeremy Harrell (97) tries to find the ball carrier.

John Johnson tries to escape Jayson Johnson (93) in middle drill.

Dan Doughty is covered with sweat after a workout.

Bobby Allen goes over a drill with Tony Bua.

Mike Markuson demonstrates technique.

Photos by Clay Henry

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