FAYETTEVILLE – Heading into the final week of spring practice, Arkansas' injury report is littered with bumps and bruises. Thankfully for the Razorbacks, that’s it.
Other than Alexy Jean-Baptiste’s broken foot last week, head coach Bret Bielema said the team has remained pretty healthy. Wanting to keep it that way, Arkansas did not scrimmage Saturday.
“I really felt I’ve gotten some good work the last couple of Saturdays, so I just didn’t want to push the envelope too much,” Bielema said. “Glad we didn’t really because we had a couple of guys nicked up out there today. Nothing serious, just some bangs here, a couple of mild issues.”
Bielema did not specify what happened to Raulerson, but said it was “not a serious injury.” He began the spring as the starting right guard before losing his job to Johnny Gibson. Now Raulerson is a versatile backup capable of playing center, guard or tackle.
Wallace, Arkansas’ starting right tackle, has been limited this week because of a bruised arm. That allowed some other players to get first-team reps Saturday.
“Paul Ramirez took the majority of the reps there today,” Bielema said. “Dalton Wagner, of the three guys that came in, probably showed the most possibility of playing next year as a true freshman.”
Wagner’s emergence comes after the coaches had been really high on Shane Clenin, another one of Arkansas’ early enrollees on the offensive line.
Arguably the most injury-prone player on the Razorbacks’ roster is running back Juan Day. The North Little Rock product has torn both of his ACLs since his senior year of high school.
His latest injury is a “banged up” knee that has limited him to 75-80 percent effectiveness.
“Every time he makes a step forward, he tends to get something banged up injury wise,” Bielema said. “He has a great attitude and is working. Hopefully he’ll be full speed on next Saturday.”
Ragnow is healthy, but Cornelius has been dealing with a minor hamstring injury.
“J-Red was back out there running today,” Bielema said. “He’s not fully cleared, but he was out there running.”
The news on wide receiver Jonathan Nance (bruised knee) is also positive.
“Jonathan actually practiced a little bit on Tuesday, a lot on Thursday and was full-go today,” Bielema said. “He was probably out there a little faster than we thought today.”
After a brief suspension, punter Blake Johnson returned to the team this week.
Bielema said Johnson didn’t get much work Thursday and Saturday because the team practiced inside, but he like what he saw Tuesday.
“Blake’s back from extreme timeout,” Bielema said. “He hit the ball really, really well on Tuesday. He also sent me a nice message and delivered some things that I think maturity wise, if he can hold them up, could be one of the best things to happen to him.”