Arkansas worked in full pads for two hours Tuesday in the only practice of the day. The workout was spiced by a goal line scrimmage at the end.
Cedric Cobbs returned to practice, but still has some minor work to do for a summer school class. Brandon Holmes was not at practice, but did not miss because of academic problems. He was in the training room rehabbing a lower back injury. Nutt said he expects both players to finish their academic work in short order.
Nutt expressed concern over Arrion Dixon's sprained knee. An MRI has been ordered as a precautionary measure. The starting defensive tackle has been out since sustaining the injury at the end of Monday's morning workout.
"There is a little swelling and we just want to be sure," Nutt said. "They think he is fine. We can't afford to lose him. He's too good of a player."
Jimarr Gallon is out with a cast on his wrist and will miss several more days.
"It's not a serious injury, but it needs to be still for a few days to heal and then he'll be back," Nutt said.
Mark Pierce participated in some drills early in the workout, but was held out of contact. Nutt said, "He's not going to have any contact on that shoulder for a few days, but he'll be able to do some of the things. He'll be fine."
Wide receivers Chris Baker and Carlos Ousley along with defensive tackle Chase Pressley missed because of hamstring injuries. All three are day-to-day. Willie Hordge cut his practice short because of a similar minor pull.
The passing game was especially sharp in all phases of the drills Tuesday. There was one stretch during pass skeleton overlapping into the team session that quarterbacks Matt Jones (5-for-5) and Ryan Sorahan (3-for-3) completed eight straight passes. Three of them were deep balls, two thrown by Jones.
"It should begin to look better as we move through workouts," Roy Wittke said. "What we did the first few days was a lot of installation. We were putting in a lot of new, and now it's review. So, it should go a little better. They've seen it before and understand and have made the adjustments we've asked and it ought to be easier.
"I think the last two days we've looked pretty good. We are still making mistakes, but they are fewer. The top two, Matt and Ryan, have done very well. They understand our checks and what we are looking for in certain situations."
Nutt said, "Our top group of receivers ... George Wilson, Richard Smith, DeCori Birmingham, Tom Crowder, Cedric Washington, Matt Jones and Steven Harris ... is pretty good. They are working well together. They have been tough to cover the last few days. They are running great routes."
Wilson said, "What we have now is hard for a defense to cover and our corners are pretty good, but we've got some things that have given them fits. We have a lot of variations and a lot of things that make it tough on the defense. This is the best we've practiced ... the last few days. Some of it is just finally having the experience at a lot of spots in our receiving group. We know more and we have some new stuff, too."
Nutt said he was pleased with the play of both first units in the goal line scrimmage, but thought the second defense gave up touchdowns too easily.
"The second defense will get better," Nutt said. "That's the first time we've done anything like that with them. They aren't ready yet."
Tuesday Grid Report, 8/19
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