Thursday Grid Update, 10/18

Arkansas put the wraps on its week of work before heading on the road to play Ole Miss in an SEC battle. Both teams are looking for their first SEC victory of the season.

Arkansas might have wide receiver Marcus Monk available Saturday against Ole Miss, but the senior standout was not able to do much in practice Thursday.

The Hogs finished on-campus preparations with a practice of around one hour on Thursday. They will fly to the Oxford, Miss., area on Friday. Game time Saturday is 1 p.m.

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said Monk participated in some early portions of practice, but sat out the team portions of the workout on Thursday. Nutt said Monk was sore from a heavy workout on Wednesday.

"We'll see how he feels Saturday, but we held him out today of the team part," Nutt said. "He was a little sore today from yesterday."

For the first time since knee surgery in August, Monk went through most of Wednesday's workout, including one-on-one drills against defensive backs.

Wide receiver Robert Johnson, bothered by a muscle problem above the ankle, was close to full speed on Thursday.

"Robert looked good and had a very good day," Nutt said. "He's had a good week and is ready."

Johnson's injury has been described as a minor high ankle sprain at some points over the last couple of weeks. But that's not exactly the injury, according to Johnson.

"It's like it's a minor hernia just above the ankle, a muscle that's a little bit torn," he said earlier this week. "It hurts, but it's not something that is going to keep you from playing. It just stays sore. It's a whole lot better this week."

Nutt said the Hogs worked hard on special teams on Thursday and had a "good concentration day. Thursdays are mental. You take the pads off and go over the details, hit a lot of things. We worked extra hard on punt protection today. Ole Miss blocked a punt against Alabama. They've been good in that area of the special teams and we went over that hard today."

Nutt said it was a particularly good week for senior fullback Peyton Hillis.

"He's really coming on," Nutt said. "His blocking is getting better. That wasn't something he did well the first two weeks of the season, but he's had good games and he's stepped up in leadership. He has wanted to talk to the team some. I think he's trying to take a role in that area and that's good to see. I'm pleased with the kind of week he put in and that's been real good of late."

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