Shoulder Bothers Hog QB

Arkansas has a plan on how to prepare Matt Jones for the season opener. Part of it means a little more work at wide receiver.

Matt Jones will not throw in the morning practices during two-a-days, according to Houston Nutt. Jones has had a sore shoulder since the third day of spring training. Dean Weber defined it as "thrower's shoulder."

David Lee said Jones came to him a few days ago and asked about not throwing so much during two-a-days. Lee and Jones then went to Houston Nutt with an idea to take some pressure off his shoulder.

"He's thrown 125 balls a day all summer, and done everything he's supposed to do to get ready," Lee said. "The shoulder still gets sore. Well, he would throw 400 balls every day of two-a-days, and we might not have him if he does that."

In the morning practices, Lee said Jones would take snaps with the quarterbacks at the start of the workout to work on the fundamentals of steps and handoffs. Then, he'll join the wideouts for the rest of the morning workout. In the afternoon, he'll do everything with the quarterbacks.

"This takes some pressure off of us as far as getting enough reps for every quarterback anyway," Lee said. "This will help us. I don't think this will keep Matt from competing for the starting quarterback job. That was the first thing Matt asked him. I told him, 'I've seen you move the chains. I know what you can do in battle.' It won't affect our decisions on who to play. Matt came to me on this. He told me he didn't think he could throw in both practices. I'm glad he brought this up.

"Matt has had a great summer. Everyone who has seen him says he is much improved in his throwing. He's had a great summer in the weight room. He's thicker in the chest. He's bigger. He's ready. So are the other two. I can see it in their eyes."

Houston Nutt said this does not mean Jones is going to be a wideout fulltime.

"We've seen Matt Jones under the lights," Nutt said. "He's a difference maker. If he had gone through our spring, he might be the starter now, but he didn't. I'm comfortable with all three. I know what some of you are thinking and saying now ... and when you see him line up at wide receiver the first practice in the morning ... but he's still a quarterback.

"If he gets beat out at quarterback, he'll be at wide receiver. He'll be on the field. I'm not saying he's going to get beat out.

"What I know is that Matt is a ball player. I saw the same face when he and coach Lee brought this idea to me that I saw on the field at Ole Miss. He's a ball player. I just know I don't want him sitting and watching during practice, so he can get in the wide receiver line.

"His shoulder is going to be fine, but we could wear him out in a day and a half and not have him at quarterback. I'd rather do this and have him ready for the scrimmages."

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