Wednesday Grid Update, 10/25

Arkansas found out some good news on outside linebacker Sam Olajubutu on Wednesday. The Hogs were also glad for Walker Pavilion on a rainy afternoon in the Ozarks.

Sam Olajubutu is still doubtful for Saturday's game with Louisiana-Monroe, but the senior outside linebacker is healing nicely, according to the defensive coordinator.

"He's getting better day by day," said Reggie Herring, the Hogs' linebacker coach and defensive boss.

"The swelling is going down. He is much better today than he was yesterday and he was improved yesterday. We feel good about his daily progress. We are encouraged."

Can he play this week?

"The idea is that we have others ready to play," Herring said. "We've got some guys back, too. It looks like we've got Desmond Williams back and he's played some there. We also are getting Mark Bonner cross trained at all the linebacker spots. We are in good shape.

"But make no mistake about it, Sam is our best player on defense. He will be sorely missed this week. Our team is different with him on the field."

Olajubutu did not practice Wednesday, but some defensive backs returned to the field. Cornerbacks Johnny Johnson and Darius Vinnett both saw action on a limited basis.

"They both did some things today," head coach Houston Nutt said. "They both got through some periods and there is some belief that they could be ready this week."

The Hogs went inside Walker Pavilion on Wednesday because of rainy weather in the Ozarks.

"There is nothing like a great indoor arena," Nutt said, noting the perfect conditions inside Walker Pavilion.

"We got a lot of good work done today in here. The good news is that we had a few more bodies out here with Johnny Johnson and Darius Vinnett. We got Cedric Washington back for a few periods today, but we are watching him close with that concusion and not doing a whole lot with him yet. He still gets some headaches and we are trying to be careful."

Nutt said there is a lot of excitement about the Hogs' first trip to Little Rock.

"The older guys are telling some of the younger guys who haven't been there what it's about," Nutt said. "Our guys like going down there.

"It's an exciting place to play. Don't get me wrong. We like this place too and having over 70,000 in your stadium is nice."

Nutt said the Hogs are looking at Reggie Fish, Peyton Hillis and Damian Williams in the punt return role this week.

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