Arkansas worked for a little less than two hours Tuesday morning in shorts and shoulder pads inside Walker Pavilion, and that in itself almost caused a horrific accident.
Wide receiver Thomas Crowder, perhaps the team's fastest player, was at full speed on a post pattern during pass skeleton drills when he ran smack into a hydraulic lift used to film practices. Crowder suffered a gash to a knee and a bruise to his rib cage, but walked away 10 minutes after the crash. The lift was positioned about five yards into the end zone and in the middle of the end zone. Two attendants were atop the lift filming practice from about three stories up.
"We had a double post called, and I saw the lift in the middle of the end zone," Nutt said. "I didn't think we'd throw it that far, but Ryan Sorahan did. I'm just glad Thomas is okay. We know he'll never take a hit any harder than that, and we are glad he's going to be alright. He's plenty tough, we know that."
Crowder crashed into the sheet metal that houses the lift's motor. He hit right on the corner of the housing, and that's what his rib cage hit just under his shoulder pads. The entire team ran 50 yards to see if Crowder was okay.
"I think you saw the chemistry in our team right there," Nutt said. "They all knew it was a bad collision. I saw it coming and blew my whistle to end the play when Thomas was at the 20, but he just kept on going. I just didn't think we'd throw it that far."
Nutt said he felt relieved that Crowder wasn't seriously hurt, and said it's obvious that the injury bug has hit the team a bit in the last 48 hours.
Starting center Josh Melton did not practice Monday morning after feeling a knee "lock up" during Tuesday's scrimmage.
Cornerback Eddie Jackson had a knee taped and didn't practice after taking a hit to the knee in the scrimmage. Nutt said it was most likely a bruise, and that Jackson should return soon.
Starting tailback Fred Talley did not practice, and will most likely miss the rest of full contact during preseason camp after sustaining what Nutt called a "probable separated shoulder." Nutt said Talley would play this fall, and noted it's basically the same injury Talley played with last fall.
Running back Brandon Holmes did not practice because of problems with a tight hamstring. He might return in a couple of days.
Decori Birmingham did not practice because of problems with dehydration. Nutt said Birmingham would continue to have problems until he begins to drink more fluids during practice. "Decori waits until he's thirsty to take fluids, and by then, it's too late," Nutt said. "He must drink throughout practice because of his lean body fat condition. He's in shape, he just needs to drink more water throughout the day."
The good news concerned Dedrick Poole. The freshman running back practiced with no problems after taking two intense hits in the scrimmage Monday, one of which caused a minor wrist sprain. He practiced without any tape on that wrist on Tuesday.
"We will continue to hit," Nutt said. "We aren't going to change our scrimmages. We aren't getting the injuries so much in the scrimmages that wouldn't happen in anything else we are doing. You just have to go on."
Nutt said he was pleased with much about a 26-play scrimmage on Monday.
"Our protection was good," he said. "Our quarterbacks made some good throws. There were drops that stopped drives. We have to catch the ball better. We found out about some players. We found out that Dedrick Poole is tough. He took two real hits.
"I loved our defensive line and our offensive line. The first groups were good. I thought Elliott Harris, Arrion Dixon, Raymond House and Jermaine Brooks were very good. Our cornerbacks were excellent. I don't think anyone has a feeling for how good a players we have in Batman Carroll and Lawrence Richardson. They have gotten better.
"One thing I'll say is that Dave Wommack did what we asked. Our corners are ready to play tight, physical coverage, and they are bringing the heat with those guys playing man. They have taken the challenge, those cornerbacks. They are physically and mentally ready. One thing we'll see, especially early, is that no one has corners like what we are seeing in practice. It should get easier when we get to games, and that is something that is going to help us ... what we've seen in practice from our corners in two-a-days."
The Hogs will be in full pads Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday Morning Grid Report, 8/20
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