Some things are starting to materialize for the Arkansas football team. First, Casey Dick and Anthony Brown both had negative MRIs over the last couple of days and that's good news.
The bad news for fans: the constant access to the football team is about to come to an end. Tonight's practice will be the last open to the public. Some practices will continue to be open to the media, but some will not. If you want to see a practice, I'd encourage you to come tonight because it will be the last open to the public, according to coach Houston Nutt. I don't think there will be any more scrimmages open and that includes Saturday's workout this week.
Casey Dick did not practice Monday morning when the Hogs worked in shorts and shoulder pads. However, the good news is that he will workout Monday night. Nutt said Dick should be able to practice at least once a day, but might set out morning workouts this week so his back is not stiff for the afternoon workout.
Brown, out much of last year with an ankle problem, sustained what is now termed as a knee sprain in Saturday's scrimmage. He may miss a few days of practice, but it's not believed to be a serious injury after an MRI results were negative. Brown did not practice Monday morning.
In the short term, the Hogs will look at sophomore Marcus Shavers at end. Shavers has had solid practices, but has not cracked the two deep at defensive tackle where backups Fred Bledsoe and Ernest Mitchell continue to log most of the work behind Marcus Harrison and Keith Jackson.
The defense stayed late Monday and spent considerable time going over the loafs from Saturday's scrimmage. They did up-downs for about 15 minutes.
Weston Dacus, valuable in his role as backup for all three linebacker spots, did not practice Monday morning with a minor high ankle sprain. He might return Tuesday.
Nutt announced that for the time being Robert Johnson would take the first snaps with the first offense and true freshman Mitch Mustain would "take the next snaps." Where does Dick fit in that when he returns Monday afternoon? Nutt said, "He'll be after them." Nutt said that does not mean Dick "is third. Don't put that on Casey just yet."
Nutt said Dick's back injury "is a curve ball. We thought he was 100 percent when we started, we really did. But he's had some problems. Dean Weber still thinks he is going to be fine. Dean thinks this is very managable."
When will the Hogs pick a starting quarterback?
"I wanted it to be after (last) Saturday night," Nutt said. "We are going to try to get it done pretty quickly. It could be this week. I just don't know. We'll make the decision when we can make it."
Nutt said the wide receiver rotation is becoming clearer by the day.
"I think we have a good idea now that we have some depth," he said. "We've got Marcus Monk and Cedric Washington (as first teamers) and then we have Damian Williams, London Crawford and Chris Baker. It's those five right now. We are still looking at some others."
The Hogs worked outside for the first six periods Monday morning and then retreated to the coolness of Walker Pavilion for the bulk of the practice.
"We had a slow start, we were a little sluggish getting going," Nutt said. "We were sore and feeling sorry for ourselves a little bit, but we did get going and have a good workout.
"It's tough on some of them because some decisions have been made and they are seeing where they fit. Some of them are on the scout team right now and they know that. All at once, they see that they are on the scout team and are a little down and they are being asked to give a picture to our first group which is playing very fast. That's tough."
Monday Morning Grid Update, 8/14
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