INJURIES test depth of Hogs’ linebackers.
FAYETTEVILLE — Injuries at outside linebacker for the Arkansas Razorbacks have accelerated the progress of younger players such as Gabe Richardson, Hayden Henry, Derrick Munson and Tyler Phillips.
Senior Karl Roesler, the would-be starter at the outside “Hog” position, has been slowed by a hamstring injury through the first five practices, and his status for Saturday’s scrimmage is questionable. Jamario Bell, a redshirt sophomore who had earned reps with the second team, suffered a broken bone in his foot Saturday and is out for 10 to 12 weeks.
Junior Randy Ramsey shifted from first-team “Razor” outside linebacker to Hog, and senior Dwayne Eugene has worked with the starters at Razor.
“It looked great,” outside linebackers coach Chad Walker said of the Eugene-Ramsey combo. “Those guys are battling. It’s very similar positions, so guys can just fill in.
“Like we’ve talked about before, you can just flip at any given second. So they basically know both positions, and they’re just ready to roll. You just plug in where needed, next man up.”
Dre Greenlaw’s limited availability as he returns from foot surgery also has opened opportunities at weak-side linebacker, where Grant Morgan and Dee Walker have taken firstteam reps alongside middle linebacker De’Jon Harris.
“We want to make sure before we put him back out there that he feels 100 percent,” inside linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves said of Greenlaw. “Right now it’s been Grant going with the first bunch a little bit. I’m working Dee in there, and Kyrei Fisher is working weak-side as well. Right now, it’s kind of by committee.”
Junior Josh Harris and redshirt freshman Giovanni LaFrance are working behind Harris.