Razorbacks Report:

Running back hurt, makes it through; Thursday 'by far our best practice'

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, August 17, 2018
Arkansas running back T.J. Hammonds carries the ball Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, during practice at the university's practice facility in Fayetteville. Visit nwadg.com/photos to see more photos from practice.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas running back T.J. Hammonds carries the ball Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, during practice at the university's practice facility in Fayetteville. Visit nwadg.com/photos to see more photos from practice.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks appeared to dodge another potentially major injury Thursday after tailback T.J. Hammonds went down with an ankle injury at the end of a run during a live tackling period to open their 12th practice.

However, the offensive line took another hit with projected starting left tackle Dalton Wagner expected to miss up to two weeks following the removal of his appendix on Wednesday.

Hammonds stayed down on the grass field for several moments with medical personnel and was visibly upset and putting no pressure on his left leg as he was helped off the field. Head athletic trainer Dave Polanski checked the movement of Hammonds' left foot and ankle and started to wrap it with medical tape. However, he took the wrap off and applied ice on the area for a while.

Hammonds was eventually wrapped and went back on the field.

"T.J. had an ankle sprain and they taped it up and he came back out and finished up practice," Coach Chad Morris said. "We held him from practice, but he was out there and in his shoes and going drill to drill. We'll re-evaluate him, but nothing severe."

Wagner was feeling nauseous Wednesday morning before seeing a doctor, who detected the appendix issue.

"We expect to have him back in the next 10-14 days, hopefully," Morris said. "It's day to day right now. I think if you go two weeks from today you're looking at right at getting close to the opening kickoff, so we'll see."

Additionally, defensive end Randy Ramsey (hamstring) wore a yellow no-participation jersey Thursday and is expected to miss Saturday's scrimmage before returning Monday.

Running back Rakeem Boyd wore a green (full speed, no contact) jersey with a minor issue.

Receiver Chase Harrell continued to be out, while offensive lineman Ryan Winkel has been added to the 110-man roster and was in green.

Perky Thursday

Chad Morris had a bounce in his step entering his post-practice media session Thursday.

"First of all, I thought it was the best day we've had since we've been in fall camp, by far our best practice," Morris said. "All around I was extremely impressed and excited about the energy level with these guys. When they walked out of the locker room you could tell they were ready to go."

Morris said Wednesday's light walkthrough in the Walker Pavilion, called "Class on Grass," gave the players more vibrancy.

"It was to be expected and they did not disappoint," Morris said. "I was extremely excited about them flying around and the energy level."

Going live

Redshirt freshman Maleek Williams had a lengthy, tackle-breaking run on the second snap of the initial live tackling period to open practice Thursday.

The big run, which appeared to be around 20 yards, came after Ty Storey hit slot receiver Jared Cornelius with a moderate gain over the middle.

Cornerback Chevin Calloway broke up a pass intended for La'Michael Pettway on the left sideline on the final play of the period before Connor Limpert came on to kick a medium-range field goal.

Tyson Morris got behind the defense to haul in a long pass of 30-plus yards from Cole Kelley on the first live snap for the second units. Safety Myles Mason made a touchdown-saving tackle on the play, on which Morris had to slow down to haul in the catch. T.J. Hammonds appeared to lose a fumble while suffering his injury on the next play.

Catching on

Chad Morris gave out praise to a handful of receivers for having strong camps, starting with a senior.

"Jared Cornelius has really kind of come on and is doing some really good things, playing consistent, kind of being that leader in the room," Morris said.

Morris also pointed out Tobias Enlow, De'Vion Warren, Jonathan Nance, Gary Cross, Jordan Jones, Mike Woods and Koilan Jackson.

"You can see him, coming off that knee injury, he's gotten better every day," Morris said of Jackson.

"De'Vion Warren is electric with the ball in his hands," Morris said. "Gary Cross is a guy that's ... having a really good camp.

"We've got a group of them. We need one or two of them to really emerge as that true playmaker. We've seen some. We just need more consistency out of all of them."

QB talk

Chad Morris said the coaching staff was no closer to announcing a quarterback starter, but it wasn't due to a lack of discussion.

"We talk about it all the time," Morris said, referencing discussions with quarterbacks coach and coordinator Joe Craddock. "We talk about it every day.

"We're not ready to name anybody. I wouldn't know what to name today to be honest with you. ... Hopefully this Saturday we'll have a little bit better idea."

Coming up

The Razorbacks, who heard a message from sexual abuse survivor Brenda Tracy on Thursday night, will have a morning practice today. The 13th practice of camp will not be a heavy one, as it comes the day before Saturday's second big scrimmage.

Chad Morris said the Razorbacks will visit the new Arkansas Children's Northwest hospital in Springdale this afternoon following the annual kickoff luncheon at the Holiday Inn & Convention Center, which opens at 11:30 a.m for the event.

Prime visitors

Former Arkansas safety Ken Hamlin topped the guest list at Thursday's full-pad workout on the outdoor fields at the Fred Smith Football Center.

Former quarterback Quinn Grovey and former defensive lineman Ryan Hale were also at the workout.

Morris said more than 300 players have said they would be in attendance at the cookout for former Razorbacks scheduled for Saturday.

Sports on 08/17/2018


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