Hogs Expected To Be Without Two Safeties

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas' secondary is expected to be thinner than usual Saturday against No. 22 Tennessee.

Starting free safety Kevin Woods continued to miss practice Wednesday because of a dislocated shoulder that was aggravated in last Saturday's 48-36 win over South Carolina. His status for this weekend seems doubtful.

"I don't think we can count on Kevin this week," Arkansas defensive coordinator Reggie Herring said. "I think it would be a stretch to say he's going to be there."

Woods has played in all nine of Arkansas' games this season, starting the past seven. But sophomore Rashaad Johnson has been getting more work in practice this week in anticipation of Woods not being ready by Saturday.

Junior Dallas Washington and redshirt freshman Ramon Broadway have also been practicing at safety, though Arkansas coach Houston Nutt is holding out hope on Woods returning.

"He's probably in the worst shape of the (injured players), but knowing him he'll try to be there (in Knoxville)," Nutt said.

Backup strong safety Walner Leandre is also expected to miss Saturday's game because he's attending his father's funeral in Haiti.

As a result, the Razorbacks will be without two of their top safeties when they take on Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge, who ranks third in the Southeastern Conference in passing (237.6 yards per game) and pass efficiency (133.2).

In last Saturday's win over South Carolina, Arkansas' secondary allowed quarterback Blake Mitchell to complete 27-of-51 passes for 364 yards and two touchdowns.

"We're out two safeties this week that have been an integral part of our defense throughout the year," Herring said. "We're going to go in there a little bit wounded at safety.

"We're expecting Rashaad Johnson to step up and Dallas Washington and Ramon Broadway. That's where we are at safety."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories