Chad Morris, Mark Stoops Hoping to get Players Healthy During Bye Week

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Sosa Agim

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Chad Morris has several injured players, but hopes the bye week provides for most to get healthy.

Morris talked about the benefits of the bye week coming at this time during Wednesday’s SEC Teleconference.

“Well, it gives us an opportunity to get back in this week and get some guys back healthy for next week,” Morris said. “It’s been a grind since the start of August, so these guys have an opportunity to step back a little bit this weekend, get away from it for a few days and be back in here Sunday ready to go as we start our game week for Kentucky.

“Overall this week, it was a good day yesterday, a really good day. Got a lot of young guys some reps and got an opportunity to go back to the basics and focus on fundamentals. That’s kind of our message this week.”

Arkansas will face Kentucky on Saturday, Oct. 12, in Lexington at 6:30 p.m. CT. The Wildcats also have a bye this week. Mark Stoops talked about his quarterback situation on Wednesday.

“I think it’s up in the air,” Stoops said. “If you watched us last week you know we ended up playing Lynn Bowden there at quarterback at the end of the game. Sawyer (Smith) has been battling through some injuries for a couple of weeks. That got aggravated again this past Saturday so we have Lynn Bowden and also Walker Wood taking reps at quarterback this week. We do anticipate and hope that Sawyer will be back in action next week ready to play against Arkansas.”

Like Morris, Stoops is pleased to have two weeks to prepare for the next game.

“Probably a good time for us and our team to have a bye,” Stoops said. “We have some players who need a little extra time to get healed up. Hopefully that’ll hit the reset button for us a little bit. We need to build on the good things we’re doing and improve in some areas. We have to heal up this week and also try to get ahead for Arkansas in two weeks. That’s the plan here for the open week.”

Arkansas quarterback Nick Starkel was injured in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss to Texas A&M. Morris talked about Starkel practicing Tuesday.

“Nick was back out there yesterday, had gained all the strength back in his arm, or in his hand,” Morris said. “He worked out all day, threw… Nothing would lead me to believe that he wouldn’t be back 100 percent ready to go for next week.”

Morris also went into some other players who are injured including defensive tackle McTelvin Agim and center Ty Clary. Neither of those two were seen during the open four periods of Tuesday’s practice.

“With Sosa, it was his knee,” Morris said. “With Ty, he was going through some concussion protocol. Those were in yellow. We had guys in green yesterday, some of our high-rep guys. C.J. O’Grady, Rakeem Boyd were in green with just some nagging injuries from just the wear and tear. Green means you’re in full practice outside of any main good-on-good contact period. We don’t want those guys getting hit, but they were in practice. There were probably a few more guys in green yesterday.

“But it was good to get Zach Williams back into a green jersey and get him going. Anticipate him being back. Mike Woods is dealing with a hip, so he was in yellow yesterday. Trey Knox remained in yellow yesterday. But we anticipate both of those guys being back ready to go. De’Vion Warren was back in green, as well. So it was more of making sure we get a chance this week to get our guys back healthy and as fresh and ready for this next run that we got.”

Do you anticipate Agim being ready for Kentucky?

“I anticipate Sosa being back and ready to go for next Saturday night,” Morris said. “I anticipate him back in practice possibly Thursday, maybe today a little. But we’ll see. See how he feels. Then get him back in for next week.”

Arkansas will return to the practice fields today at 4:20 p.m.

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