HI.com Feature: Robert Johnson

Arkansas senior wide receiver Robert Johnson has been battling an ankle sprain the last two weeks. He practiced Tuesday and Wednesday. He was out for precautionary reasons Thursday with his ankle in a protective boot, but is expected to play against Auburn.

Arkansas receiver Robert Johnson wasn't supposed to pack his equipment bag for the trip to Little Rock last weekend, but couldn't help himself.

It's his senior year. He didn't have many games left. So Johnson wanted to try everything possible to get on the field against Tennessee-Chattanooga.

"I packed it anyway and tried to go out in the pre-game and warm up and play," Johnson said. "But it wasn't really in my favor."

Unfortunately for Johnson, he missed his first game of the season because of an ankle injury. But the good news is he returned to practice this week and with leading receiver Marcus Monk still sidelined, Arkansas (3-2, 0-2 in SEC) will be counting on Johnson to play an important role in the passing attack for Saturday's game against 22nd-ranked Auburn (4-2, 2-1).

Johnson has six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. He's tied for fourth on the team in receptions. But Johnson showed some promise before being sidelined for the Tennessee-Chattanooga game, catching four passes for 71 yards and a score in the 66-7 win against North Texas on Sept. 30.

In fact, offensive coordinator David Lee thought Johnson was blossoming into Arkansas' go-to receiver in what has been a difficult start for the struggling passing attack. But the injury put that on hold for week.

"You never want to sit on the sideline," Johnson said. "Especially since it's your last year. You see your teammates playing and it makes you want to play, too."

The Razorbacks are glad to see Johnson back on the field this week, though.

Arkansas will be counting on its receivers to make a few plays against the Tigers, who will gear up to stop running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Lee said the receivers must "make something happen" when the Razorbacks throw the ball, especially on third-and-long situations.

Now that he's healthier, Johnson is hoping to answer the call Saturday night.

"It felt good to be back out there, just running around, catching balls," Johnson said. "When you're not practicing it's kind of hard. You're not able to help out that much. It feels good to be back out."

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