FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas starting quarterback Clint Stoerner practiced Wednesday, donning pads and stretching before making a few handoffs and tossing a handful of short passes.
“He didn’t throw but a few passes, 15 yards or less,” UA head coach Houston Nutt said.
It was the first practice for the senior since separating his right (throwing) shoulder in the Hogs’ 44-6 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday. Although Stoerner’s workout was brief, it was an encouraging sign that he will be ready for the 14th-ranked Razorbacks’ Southeastern Conference opener Saturday at Alabama.
“The throwing is still not where it should be,” Stoerner said. “But I have made improvement since yesterday. If I can keep making improvement, I should be alright.”
“Right now, we’d start him,” Nutt said.
Though encouraged by his progress, Stoerner has no intentions of rushing his rehabilitation. Asked if he planned to throw more during Thursday’s workout, Stoerner responded, “I’ll try. I’ll see what I can do and see what (UA Director of Athletic Training) Dean Weber thinks I can do.”
After returning to practice Tuesday for the first time since breaking his hand in drills last week, linebacker J.J. Jones continued workouts Wednesday. “He’s just got to get used to the pain,” Nutt said. “That bone is still broken. He’ll just have to work hard and that’s something I never have to worry about with J.J.”
Though pleased with the Hogs’ improved concentration Wednesday – especially on offense – Nutt admits the Razorback defense faces a challenge against the Crimson Tide. “They have a very fast wideout and a tailback in Shaun Alexander who can get out quickly,” Nutt said. “(Alabama quarterback Andrew) Zow is another athlete who can move around and make things happen.”
Arkansas will be looking for its third-straight win over the Alabama when the Hogs face the Crimson Tide Saturday at Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:35 p.m. CT with a telecast by CBS Sports.