FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — No. 25 Arkansas is preparing for No. 23 Mississippi State and the quarterback situation with the Hogs was clouded when KJ Jefferson left the Alabama game with a head injury.
Sam Pittman was asked about Jefferson being concussion protocol on Monday and quickly dismissed the question.
“I didn’t say that,” Pittman said. “Anybody else?”
Here’s what Pittman did say when asked specifically about Jefferson’s status.
“Well, he has some mild symptoms,” Pittman said. “Those are things that our doctors look at. Each kid is a little bit different with how they react. We’ve had guys back within 3-4 days. We’ve had guys out for 27 days. He’s kind of a wait-and-see to be honest with you.”
Jefferson is obviously a key weapon for Arkansas’ offense. He has completed 80 of 121 passes for 1,006 yards, nine touchdowns and only one interception. He is second on the team in rushing yards with 312 and four touchdowns on 81 carries.
Pittman surprised many when Jefferson left the game he inserted transfer Cade Fortin into the game instead of Malik Hornsby. Fortin was 4 of 10 passing for 35 yards and ran once for nine and a first down. Pittman talked about Fortin on Monday.
“We’re very confident with him in practice,” Pittman said. “He’s done really well in the two-minute situations. He’s a good quarterback and he has experience. We also believe in Malik. So if anything happened there, we still think we have two really good quarterbacks. They’re certainly different. Even though Cade can run a little bit as well, he would probably be looked at more as the passer and Malik as the runner. But that’s really not true. They both can do either.”
Pittman said on Saturday the decision to put Fortin No. 2 on the depth chart has been made for awhile. So on Monday he was asked if fans could expect to possibly see Hornsby more at wide receiver in the future?
“He’s a quarterback,” Pittman said of Hornsby. “I mean, he’s a quarterback as well. Certainly the plan for him to play wide receiver has not been even what I thought it would be. But the plan is for him to play quarterback.”
How is Hornsby handling all this?
“There’s situations, too, now,” Pittman said. “I mean, we were behind. Fortin is kind of the guy who is what I would call the passing (quarterback). He’s been in games, we were behind. There’s a lot more that goes into it more than just who we put into the game. Malik is handling it fine. I visited with him today, and he’s fine. He’ll be fine.”
Pittman talked about when Jefferson would need to return to practice this week to be in the gameplan for the Bulldogs.
“Wednesday’s always our day,” Pittman said. “They have to do something on Wednesday or we pretty much count them out for the game. Wednesday is that day.”
Arkansas and Mississippi State will kickoff at 11 a.m. on Saturday with the game televised on the SEC Network.