Jones Returns to Practice as Arkansas Works on
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas held a closed practice on Wednesday as they worked out for 90 minutes on the fields behind Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The Hogs continued to prepare to face sixth-ranked Georgia and welcomed the return of quarterback Matt Jones. The team is waiting on whether or not fullback Peyton Hillis will be able to play.
“Our guys are trying to get out of that training room and we had Matt Jones back out on the field today and he did a few things,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “Peyton has been out here all week and he continues to get better. We still don’t know (if he’ll play). We’re still checking x-rays and doctors and trying to make a right decision before we put him back on the field. It was only two weeks ago when he got hurt and so you want to be real careful.”
Jones’ availability for Saturday is still uncertain, but Nutt is hoping he’ll be able to put him on the field.
“I don’t know yet (if Matt Jones will start),” Nutt said. “We might possibly use both. Matt’s a quick healer and I’m expecting him to be pretty close to full speed by Saturday. That’s what I’m hoping for, but again I don’t know that for sure.”
Even if Jones does not start Nutt is confident in Robert Johnson’s abilities and is glad that he gained valuable experience coming in at the end of the Auburn game.
“The good thing about Robert is that he played last week and he got his feet wet,” Nutt said. “I’m just real proud of his attitude and work ethic. I think he’s ready to go either way. Robert has had a very good week and he’s worked hard. All of our guys have worked hard and we just have to keep getting better.”
On Tuesday offensive guard Tony Ugoh was forced to miss practice with a kidney stone. Today he returned to watch his teammates, but was unable to do anything physical.
“Tony Ugoh has been very hurtful to lose, because he was getting better each week and he was one of our leaders,” Nutt said. “We need him back on the field. He felt better today, but he couldn’t do anything physically. They don’t know (if he has passed the stone), but they think there’s a possibility because it was so small. They don’t know for sure.”
Two other Hogs were also unable to practice as they took time to recover from injuries suffered during last week’s Auburn match-up. Flanker Steven Harris and corner back Michael Coe both sat out, but Nutt is confident they will be available to take the field on Saturday.
“Michael Coe and Steven Harris did not practice today, but I expect them to be ready,” Nutt said. “They’re not going to start, but they’ll be ready.”
Arkansas and Georgia will kickoff at 6 p.m. CT this Saturday in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The Homecoming game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.
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