Hayden out, Hammonds in gameplan vs. Texas A&M

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: September 25, 2019 at 12:35 p.m. - Updated: September 25, 2019 at 6:08 p.m.
Chase Hayden, Arkansas running back, carries in the second quarter vs Colorado State Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Chase Hayden, Arkansas running back, carries in the second quarter vs Colorado State Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas will be without one running back this weekend against No. 23 Texas A&M, but another is likely to see his first playing time of the season, Chad Morris said Wednesday.

Chase Hayden, slotted as the Razorbacks' No. 3 running back behind Rakeem Boyd and Devwah Whaley the first four weeks of the season, will not play against the Aggies. Morris said Wednesday afternoon that Hayden is in concussion protocol.

"I believe it is (a one-week deal)," he added. "That’s all I know right now."

Hayden retuned one kickoff for 18 yards in Arkansas' 31-24 loss to San Jose State last weekend. He did not record a carry in the game. The junior has totaled 39 yards rushing on 12 carries this season.

Running back T.J. Hammonds, who returned this week following a four-game suspension, is expected to play Saturday, Morris said on the weekly SEC coaches teleconference. Hammonds provided "great looks" on scout team, was engaged and worked hard in the weight room over the last month, he added.

"He will be a part of us and a part of our gameplan. I think we all know he’s incredibly fast, so he adds speed to our offense," Morris said. "The way he handled it would be exactly what I expected ... come out to work with a spectacular attitude. That’s what he did, so for that, I think he’s grown from the experience and we’re excited to have him back."

Hammonds ran with the second team offense at Tuesday's practice and also worked with receivers during position drills. In his career, Hammonds has rushed for 397 yards - 6.9 yards per carry - and two touchdowns, and caught six passes for 148 yards and two more scores.

"Well, I think when you look at the injuries we’ve had at wide receiver this year and the number of guys that have been out," Morris said of trying Hammonds out at receiver. "Just his ability to be able to come in and focus in and help us a little bit at wide receiver, we know what he can do at running back. We can always move him back there, but we’re trying to get him the best of both worlds here."

Freshman receivers Treylon Burks (concussion protocol) and Trey Knox (hip) should be ready to play Saturday, Morris noted. Burks did not play against San Jose State and was present at Tuesday's workout wearing a green no-contact jersey.

Knox was held out of practice on Tuesday as a precaution, but "should be fine, good to go," Morris said.

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