Scottie Bordelon is a reporter for WholeHogSports.com. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Bordelon previously covered high school sports for the Times Record in Fort Smith and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Springdale. He is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and Football Writers Association of America and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Pool may not play in Hogs' final 2 games
Arkansas linebacker Bumper Pool (10) walks on the field, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, following the Razorbacks’ 42-27 win over the Ole Miss Rebels at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas linebacker Bumper Pool may have played his last game as a Razorback.
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said the super senior’s availability for the regular-season finale at Missouri on Friday and bowl game is perhaps doubtful because of various injuries. He added that Pool has been battling issues with both hips as well as his back.
“Bumper is still Bumper and trying to hang on,” Pittman said at his weekly news conference Monday. “I don't know that he'll be able to (play) or not. He's beat up, not healthy. We're bowl eligible. I don't know if he'll be able to play or not.”
Pittman admitted Monday that roughly five weeks ago he thought Pool was done for the season because of his health. Arkansas’ staff opted to “shut him down at practice” at times to allow him time to rest and recover.
Pool, the program’s all-time leading tackler, is second on the team with 92 tackles in 11 games this season. He has 4.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks.
Pool has 441 career tackles. He broke former Arkansas linebacker Tony Bua's previous record of 408 during the Razorbacks’ 40-17 loss at Mississippi State on Oct. 8.
“He’s beat up, man,” Pittman said. “But he’s a trooper, and I don’t know how much further he can go, to be honest with you. And I think with us getting bowl eligible, it could or could not be his last game. I don’t know.”
Asked if he is holding out hope that Pool could play in the bowl game, Pittman said there is “not a lot of hope there.”
If Pool is unable to play moving forward, Arkansas would more than likely turn to redshirt freshman linebacker Chris “Pooh” Paul. The Cordele, Ga., native has been a bright spot in a role that has expanded this fall.
Paul has 41 tackles — sixth on the team — to go with 7 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. He finished with a career-high seven tackles in last Saturday’s win over then-No. 14 Ole Miss.
Pittman added that quarterback KJ Jefferson, who returned to the lineup against the Rebels after a one-game absence due to a shoulder/clavicle injury, felt great physically on Sunday. He threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns during the 42-27 win over Ole Miss.
Right tackle Dalton Wagner started against the Rebels after missing the LSU loss with a back injury. Pittman said “we’ll see” when discussing Wagner's status for Friday.
Defensive end Jordan Domineck is battling an ankle injury, as well, Pittman said. Pittman doesn’t think that it will hold Domineck out of this week’s game.
“He was a little tender yesterday,” Pittman said. “I’ll know about it after practice today. I would think he’s day-to-day, but I’m leaning toward I think he’ll be fine.”
Domineck is fifth in the SEC this season with 6.5 sacks, and he has 7.5 tackles for loss. His 29 tackles are 10th-most on the team.
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