Hogs Travel Without Starting Tight End

FAYETTEVILLE —Arkansas will be without the services of starting tight end Wes Murphy for Saturday's game at Vanderbilt because of a death in the family.

"Wes Murphy's grandfather died and he's the oldest grandchild and his grandmother felt it was imperative he stay there throughout this time of their loss," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "The funeral unfortunately is at 12 o'clock Saturday ... it's already set. As much as he wanted to be here, the family really wanted him there. The grandpa helped raised Wes.

"We're going to miss."

Nutt said in Murphy's absence, Mason Templeton and Andrew Davie, will be co-starters at tight end. Both will split time.

Arkansas wrapped up its preparations for its first Southeastern Conference game still with some lingering questions yet unanswered.

Senior cornerback Darius Vinnett, hampered by injured knees all season, did return to practice Tuesday.

But Nutt said he's not sure how much Vinnett will contribute Saturday.

"We'll travel him, he's coming along, he's coming," Nutt said. "He can't play a full game by any means, we still don't know how much he can play.

"If he can play, we're going to use him."

Also at issue is naming a starting place-kicker. Jeremy Davis and Stephen Arnold — he started the first two games — still are locked in a battle for that spot.

"Kickers ... uh ... it'll be a game day decision," Nutt said. "We're going to wait until pregame warmups to make a decision. So, we will travel ... we've got Jeremy Davis, Stephen Arnold, Jacob Skinner (punter) and Brian Vavra (who handles kickoffs)."

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