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Arkansas gets Good, Bad and Uncertain News on Injury Front

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - By Otis Kirk

Arkansas suffered some key injuries on Saturday night against Ole Miss and on Monday Chad Morris provided updates on each.

Quarterback Ty Storey, defensive end McTelvin Agim and running backs Devwah Whaley and Rakeem Boyd all left the game with injuries. Morris talked about each of those on Monday.

"Yeah, with us being on fall break right now, we’re a little off schedule as far as knowing exactly where we are with everything," Morris said. "Devwah Whaley is out and he’s having surgery today on his ankle. We hope to get back some time in November. We anticipate Rakeem being back and playing. 

"Ty, we’ll know more today on Ty. Sosa, we anticipate Sosa being back. T.J. Hammonds, we anticipate T.J. being back. So that’s kind of where we’re at."

Is Storey in concussion protocol?

"Again, we’ll know more on Ty today and where we’re at with him," Morris said. "And then from there we’ll just re-evaluate it and see how it goes from there."

Storey was injured following a 10-yard run early in the fourth quarter. He was hit by Ole Miss' Zedrick Woods and the back of his head hit the turf hard. He left the game at that point and didn't return. 

Cole Kelley finished out the game for Storey. Arkansas offensive coordinator Joe Craddock talked about if Storey is unable to play against Tulsa who will take his place.

"Yeah, we’re evaluating Ty by the hour right now," Craddock said. "Really trying to get a good feel for how he’s doing. But we’ll go into practice kind of the same thing that we’ve been doing. Split those reps and see who has the best week in practice and whoever we feel like gives us the best chance to win that’s who we will play."

According to the SEC Network telecast on Saturday night one of the announcers said that true freshman Connor Noland was getting most of the second-team work in practice according to Craddock. Craddock was asked about that on Monday.

"I’m not sure where they got that but they’ve been splitting reps," Craddock said. "Cole and Connor have been doing  good job. Connor has really understood the offense a little bit more than he has since we started. He’s learning and he’s getting more comfortable and I think that may be why he’s been doing maybe a little bit better during practice when he gets out there and gets some reps."

Was there any particular reason when Storey exited with the injury that Kelley went in instead of Noland?

"Cole was running the ball and giving us some good things in the run game," Craddock said. "He’s got more experience than Connor. Putting Connor in a SEC game in the fourth quarter I think that would be unfair to him. Cole obviously has played a lot of football. He’s played against Ole Miss before. He’s had a little bit more reps in games this year and we just felt like he gave us the best chance to finish it off."

Against the Rebels, Kelley completed 2 of 5 passes for 60 yards with a touchdown and one interception. He also rushed seven times for 25 yards.

Is it tough being five days out and not knowing who your quarterback will be on Saturday?

It’s kind of tough," Craddock said. "Like I said, we’ve been getting updates on Ty every hour, trying to figure out how he’s feeling and how he’s doing. I talked to Dave (Polanski) right before we came in here and (he) said he’s feeling a little bit better than he has been, so that’s good. But, you know, it’s football. It is what it is. You have to have the next guy ready to go. Just like the other night when we had Rakeem and Devwah go out, Chase (Hayden) had to be ready to go. It’s part of the game. I know whoever goes out there, whether it’s Ty, Cole or Connor, I know those guys will be ready to go and they’ll coached up on the game plan and they’ll execute for us at a high level."

Boyd rushed for 109 yards on seven carries Saturday night including a 69-yard touchdown run. It was his second game in a row to top the century mark in rushing. Whaley had 12 carries for 67 yards.

With Devwah having surgery, do you envision Maleek Williams getting some more reps? Also what is it specifically he needs to improve to get on the field?

"Just the overall knowledge of the offense," Morris said. "The pass protection is probably more than anything. In this offense, the running backs have to pass protect.

"It’s not that it’s overly complicated, but it requires you to be on your game. Maleek’s done a good job. He’s gotten better. He needs to just continue progressing and getting better. Like we do with all our second-team reps. Like we talked about with the quarterbacks. He’s gotten a lot of second-team reps. He gets in and gets his fair share of reps to keep him on. You can only travel 70, so you have to be strategic in who you travel, and we felt like we’re traveling four running backs. Those were the four we wanted to travel last week."

Hammonds traveled to Little Rock, but didn't play in the game. Morris said an ankle injury is what has hampered Hammonds. 

While it isn't an injury, cornerback Ryan Pulley was ejected from the game with 29 seconds remaining on Saturday night for a personal foul. But since it wasn't a fighting ejection there's some question as to why he wouldn't be able to play the first half this week. 

"We haven’t gotten a final word in on that," Morris said. "I do know that. And we have talked to Steve Shaw. So the final word has not come out of the SEC office. Now, your interpretation is exactly correct. But the final word hasn’t. We did get a follow back up, though, that they’ll get back in and review all personal fouls."

John Chavis talked about if Pulley doesn't start who will get the call.

"Buster (Montaric) Brown," Chavis said. "He has played and guys have been in the rotation and feel very comfortable. Coach will address that, but you asked me if he didn't. That's hypothetical, but it will be Buster Brown...next guy up."

The Hogs will face Tulsa at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. In addition, it was also announced on Monday the Vanderbilt and Arkansas game on Oct. 27 will be televised at 11 a.m. and also on the SEC Network.





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