Morris Discusses Injuries, New Punt Returners, More

Arkansas Today

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas Coach Chad Morris gave an update on the injured players following Monday’s practice.

Morris talked about senior Deon Stewart and junior Jordan Jones, both wide receivers.

“We’ve got Deon Stewart will be out unfortunately with a torn ACL,” Morris said. “It’s something that when we went down Saturday we didn’t think much of it. We thought it was just something minor. And then we went  that afternoon with an MRI. It’s unfortunate for him. He’s a great young man. A great leader. He will be missed. But he’ll be back better than ever. He’ll be back stronger and we’ll obviously go after his sixth year of eligibility. That’s something that we will go ahead and apply for. Hate that for him. Just an unbelievable young man.

“Jordan Jones will be out for two, two and half, three at the most four weeks at the longest with a high ankle sprain, much like (defensive end) Eric Gregory. Eric should be back within the next week.  He had the same procedure done, the minor surgery on it, today. So hope to get him back sooner than later. (Wide receiver) Trey Knox was sick today. He should be back in tomorrow. That was what came out of Saturday’s scrimmage.”

Losing those receivers who has moved into those spots?

“Yeah, we’ll move some guys around,” Morris said. “Mike Woods got out there some. Obviously we know that De’Vion (Warren) and what he can do out there for us. We’ll see Mike Woods out there. Treylon Burks will be working some at that spot at that 9-man. Trey Knox at that 9-man.  o we’re kind of moving some guys around.  That’s what usually happens at that position as wide receivers. 

“Fortunately we’ll be able to get Koilan Jackson back. We hope to be having him back practicing on Thursday or Friday of this week. That will be good. We’re hoping to get (tight end) C.J. O’Grady back early next week.”

Senior left guard Austin Capps has missed the past week of practice, but Morris offered up some good news on him.

“Austin should be back,” Morris said. “We thought we’d get him today. Looks like he may get in tomorrow and try to get some reps if not Thursday or later in the week. We probably will not scrimmage him on Wednesday.”

Punt Returners

With Stewart out for the season obviously Morris will have to find a new punt returner.

“We saw several guys back there,” Morris said. “I was very impressed today with Buster (Montaric Brown).  We had Jalen Catalon back there catching punts today. And Treylon Burks. So we had a group of guys back there.  We’re kind of wait and seeing on that right now.”

Brown talked about returning punts on Monday as he was joined by LaDarrius Bishop also in addition to ones named by Morris.

“Yes sir, Coach (Daniel) Da Prato gave me an opportunity,” Brown said. “Just trying to help my football team best I can.”

Did you return punts in high school at Ashdown?

“Yes sir,” Brown said.

How good were you?

“I was pretty good,” Brown said. “Coach asked me to return so I guess I was pretty good.”

What makes one a good punt returner?

“I would say speed,” Brown said. “Catch the ball.”

Brown got an interception again on Monday. He has had one in each of the first two scrimmages as well as the tipped pass that Joe Foucha picked off on Saturday.

For a Nickel

Greg Brooks Jr. was running first-team at nickel before being injured. He returned to practice on Monday without the green shirt he wore late last week. Montaric Brown talked about who replaced Brooks with the first unit when he was out?

“Micahh Smith,” Brown said. “He’s been doing pretty good. He’s been running with the 1s a couple of plays in the scrimmage with the team. He’s been doing good, making tackles up the field, getting PBUs. He’s been doing great.”

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