Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Gragg to miss LSU finale
Chris Gragg celebrates following a 41-yard touchdown against Ole Miss on Oct. 27 at War Memorial Stadium.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas tight end Chris Gragg won't play in the Razorbacks' season finale against LSU, marking a disappointing end to a great career for the redshirt senior.
Gragg hasn't played since Oct. 27, logging three receptions and a touchdown in one quarter of action against Ole Miss. It was his only playing time since suffering a bruised knee in the first quarter of a game against Rugers on Sept. 22.
His playing status has been listed week-to-week since the injury. The LSU game will mark his seventh missed game of a year in which he only played 13 quarters.
Prior to the injury, the Warren native was on a record pace to begin the season. He caught seven passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the Razorbacks' season opener against Jacksonville State, and is still second on the team this season in receiving yards (289) and touchdowns (3). He was named to the midseason Mackey Award watch list for the nation's best tight end.
Gragg finished his career with 72 receptions for 1,003 yards and 7 touchdowns. After playing minimally as a receiver his first year with the Razorbacks, Gragg moved to tight end in the spring of 2009, but missed the following season with a broken ankle.
After backing up Mackey Award winner D.J. Williams in 2010, Gragg had the best season of his career last year, recording 41 catches for 518 yards and 2 touchdowns.
He is one of several players to miss significant playing time this season for the Razorbacks. Three seniors - fullback/linebacker Kiero Small and linebackers Alonzo Highsmith and Tenarius Wright - suffered season-ending injuries, as did redshirt freshman fullback Kody Walker. At least six other starters have missed one or more games because of injury.
The Razorbacks are 4-7 heading into the game against LSU (9-2). It will be played Friday with a kickoff scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and will be televised by CBS.