Injuries Overshadow Physical Scrimmage

FAYETTEVILLE — As soon as Arkansas running back Brandon Barnett fell to the turf in pain, everything got eerily quiet.

One moment, the Walker Pavilion was filled Friday with the sound of coaches hollering and players smacking into one another. The next moment, there was silence as Arkansas trainers stood over Barnett's injured right leg.

The Razorbacks' 125-play scrimmage featured several deep touchdown passes from quarterback Tyler Wilson and an improved effort from the defense. But all that was overshadowed by the sight of Barnett being helped off the field and quarterback Ryan Mallett holding his sore left shoulder.

"When (Barnett) went down (Friday), it kind of took the wind out of the scrimmage. We had a little prayer for him afterward," Arkansas free safety Matt Harris said. "We wish the best for Brandon, and hopefully he's back here for two-a-days (in the fall)."

Barnett, who had missed most of the past three weeks because of the death of his stepfather, will likely be sidelined for the remainder of spring practice after suffering a possible broken shin.

The senior led all running backs with nine carries for 79 yards and had just gained 16 yards on a screen pass when he was hit at the end of the play. Arkansas trainers put an air cast on his injured right leg and carried him off the field.

"When he first went down, he was yelling about his knee, but it's his shin," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "They had to put an air cast on it, which is always a concern. (He) possibly has a broken shin.

"I guess we'll have to wait and see."

A few minutes later, the Razorbacks had another scare when Mallett hurt his left (non-throwing) shoulder while diving on the turf for his own fumble. He walked to the side of the field, holding his shoulder so it could be examined by a trainer.

The sophomore returned later in the scrimmage, but his day came to an end when he grimaced in pain after throwing an incomplete pass to wide receiver Joe Adams. Mallett finished 15 of 29 for 153 yards with one touchdown.

"I just banged (my shoulder) up a little bit, (it's) a little sore and they just held me out for precautionary reasons," Mallett said.

Petrino said he's hopeful that Mallett will be fine and able to get back to work when the Razorbacks return to practice Tuesday after taking off the next three days.

With Mallett sidelined, Wilson took advantage of the extra reps by leading the first- and second-team offenses on several long scoring drives.

The redshirt freshman connected with wide receiver London Crawford on an 80-yard touchdown pass early in the scrimmage, and he found Carlton Salters and Joe Adams for a few more big scoring plays.

Wilson completed 13 of 25 passes for 348 yards and six touchdowns, but he also continued to struggle with his turnovers by throwing a pair of interceptions.

"I felt we had a good day," Wilson said. "I threw a couple of interceptions that I wish I could take back, pull back on the reigns and keep a bad play from extending even worse."

The injuries to Barnett and Mallett were bad enough.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories