FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In the middle of an off week, the Arkansas Razorbacks’ practice lasted just under two hours on the practice fields south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Wednesday.
“Every so often you need an open day,” head coach Houston Nutt said, “And this came at the perfect time. We had some good practice with our young people. We let some other guys get healthy.”
Injuries have plagued the Razorbacks since summer workouts and the off week is giving many players a chance to rest and recuperate.
“We had a lot of guys on the sidelines today,” Nutt said. “Robert Johnson came back from surgery. It was very successful. Marcus Harrison (is also back from successfully surgery). They have already had two or three rehab sessions today and that is good.”
Despite the injuries Nutt is content with the effort he is seeing out of his younger players and from the veterans who can use this time to strengthen their game.
“Overall we had a good practice today,” Nutt said. “We are trying to get better, trying to stay focused. We’ll get right back into it tomorrow and then we are going to give them a few days off. We will be back to practice on Sunday for a longer practice.”
Nutt, aware of his history with injuries, is using this off week to strengthen the depth of his roster and is giving the younger players more reps and time in practice.
“(This off week) is very valuable,” Nutt said. “Especially for guys like Matt Hewitt, Wendel Davis, Adrian Davis, Anthony Brown, all those guys. They are like sponges right now. We are giving them all this information. They are trying to soak everything up so this has been good.”
Not a fan of them in the past, Nutt is changing his tune about open dates and is encouraged by the time his players have to rest up and mend what ails them.
“This open date is good for us,” Nutt said. “We needed this time. A lot of times, I don’t like the open dates but this is good.”
Nutt, his staff and players will take advantage of the opportunity to watch the Auburn game on television on Thursday night but won’t change the game plan much based on what they see.
“We are going full speed ahead right now,” Nutt said. “We will definitely be around that television watching. We will get the film, study it and try to come up with the best game plan we can.”