At the moment, it appears the Razorbacks will be without two of their more productive defensive ends for Saturday's game at South Carolina.
Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said Wednesday that sophomore Damario Ambrose won't play this weekend because of an apparent knee injury suffered in Saturday's win over Tulsa.
"Well, he won't be available for this game," Petrino said.
Meanwhile, junior Adrian Davis — who's listed as a starter ahead of Ambrose — missed practice Wednesday because of a sprained left knee. He sat out the Tulsa game with the injury, and he has yet to practice this week.
The injuries have forced senior Antwain Robinson to work opposite redshirt freshman Jake Bequette with the first-team defense and freshman Lavunce Askew to get practice time at both defensive end and defensive tackle.
"He's kind of a guy right now that we're kind of moving back and forth," Robinson said of Askew. "Whether that's right or wrong for him, he's got to understand he has to learn to play both for us. Especially with the depth situation that we have, he's working on it awfully hard."
It's uncertain when Ambrose will return to the lineup. Petrino hasn't given any specifics about the extent of the injury, and he declined to answer a question about whether Ambrose will need surgery on his knee.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier showed during his time at Florida that he's not afraid to use two quarterbacks in the same game.
And there is a chance that Arkansas' defense will get a look at both South Carolina quarterbacks Stephen Garcia and Chris Smelley on Saturday.
Smelley started six consecutive games this season before getting replaced by Garcia, a highly touted freshman who has had limited success over the past two games.
Spurrier hinted Wednesday that both Garcia and Smelley could each see playing time against the Razorbacks.
"Stephen has done some good things, but Stephen obviously is not prepared to play extremely well yet," Spurrier said. "... Chris Smelley has played very well at times for us. Chris is a good quarterback and at times really plays well.
"So there is a chance you may try to use both guys in the course of a game. I just don't think Stephen is mentally prepared to play the entire games."
Robinson said Arkansas won't change its preparations because of the possibility of facing both Garcia and Smelley.
"They're very similar. They're the same guys. Both right-handed, both similar in size," Robinson said. "Both have had success, both have not had success. ... (Spurrier) will find the one with the hot hand."
Ward's Good Friend
Aside from a brief stint in January, Arkansas secondary coach Lorenzo Ward hasn't worked on the same staff as South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson since 1993.
But that hasn't affected their friendship.
"We're really, really good friends. Back when Ellis had cancer back in 1993, I was right by his side the whole time," Ward said.
"I actually coached his position because he was going through (chemotherapy). So we're real close and we're good friends. We talk all the time."
Ward said it won't be awkward coaching against his close friend. But as it turns out, Johnson helped Ward get hired as an assistant on Petrino's staff.
During his brief stint as Arkansas' defensive coordinator last January, Johnson recommended Ward to Petrino.
"Ellis is actually the reason I am here," Ward said. "He actually told coach Petrino about me and that's how coach called and wanted to talk to me."
Arkansas wide receiver London Crawford, who has started every game this season, didn't participate in the first three periods of Wednesday's practice open to the media. He instead worked with the other injured players on the sideline.
Crawford's injury and status for Saturday's game are both unknown.
Defensive Ends Needed
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