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 Heisman Trophy.
Williams could miss 2015 with foot injury
Arkansas running back Jonathan Williams goes through drills Tuesday, March 31, 2015, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Half of Arkansas' heralded rushing duo may miss the 2015 season.
Senior running back Jonathan Williams will undergo surgery to repair a foot injury suffered during the Razorbacks' scrimmage Saturday. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said in a statement that Williams "will miss an extended period of time."
Williams suffered the injury late in the Razorbacks' first scrimmage of the preseason. He rushed 11 times for 70 yards during the scrimmage and had one of the days longest runs of 39 yards.
“I have no doubt that Jonathan will come back stronger than ever," Bielema said in a statement. "Anyone that knows Jonathan Williams knows this is just another opportunity for him to prove the man of character and substance that he really is.
"It’s an unfortunate injury to a great young man, but we are in the process of gathering as much information as possible. There are short and long term impacts of how he proceeds and we want to make sure he does what’s best for him and his family, and his career beyond Arkansas.”
Williams rushed for 1,190 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. He and Alex Collins were the only teammates to each rush for more than 1,000 yards last season.
Williams opted not to declare for the NFL Draft earlier this year in order to return for his senior year.
“This is no doubt a tough moment, but I know through my faith and hard work that I will make a full recovery,” Williams said in a statement Sunday.
Williams is the second Arkansas running back to suffer a long-term injury this year. Redshirt freshman Juan Day tore his anterior cruciate ligament during spring practice.
With Williams sidelined, expect to see freshman Rawleigh Williams factor more into the Razorbacks' offensive plans. Rawleigh Williams rushed for 102 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown during Saturday's scrimmage.
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