RazorbacksSports

Sam Pittman talks Injuries

Razorback head football coach Sam Pittman answers questions from the media during Media Day Wednesday afternoon at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, AR.

By Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas heads into preseason drills on Friday with a pretty healthy team, but some will be held out or limited in practice.

Junior running back Dominique Johnson, redshirt junior defensive tackle Taurean Carter, redshirt sophomore walk-on quarterback Kade Renfro and redshirt sophomore defensive back Jacorrei Turner are the injured Razorbacks heading into camp.

Johnson played in all 13 games with six starts in 2021. According to Pro Football Focus, appeared in 320 snaps, primarily at running back. Finished fourth on the team with 575 yards on the ground. Totaled a team-best seven rushing touchdowns. Finished with seven receptions for 71 yards and one touchdown. Pittman talked about the expectations for when Johnson will be healthy.

“Dominique, we had a talk about that this morning in our staff meeting with (trainer) Dave (Polansky),” Pittman said. “I feel like he’ll be able to do some things. Maybe not the first week, as far as team-oriented type things. But he’s progressing well. He’s ahead of schedule. So I don’t know if we’ll have him for the Cincinnati game or not, but I feel like we’re gonna have him the majority of the season.”

Carter suffered a knee injury on the third play of the April 16 scrimmage. It came when he was having the best spring of his career at Arkansas. In 2021, Carter appeared in all 13 games totaling 24 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and one pass break-up. Registered five games with multiple tackles. According to Pro Football Focus, played in 262 snaps with 244 at defensive line and 18 on special teams.

“TC will be in camp,” Pittman said. “He’ll be in camp, but that doesn’t mean that he’s going to be active in camp. But we felt like it was important that he come into camp, be a part of the team, be a part of the meetings, be a part of practice. Not that he’s going to be able to practice, yet. But we felt like that was important.”

After one season at Ole Miss and then 2021 at Arkansas, Renfro hasn’t played in a college game since he left Stephenville (Texas) High School. He suffered a torn ACL last year and Pittman talked about how his recovery is going.

“Renfro hasn’t been cleared yet to practice, so he’ll be in the training room getting healthy and those things,” Pittman said. “Now, he can throw, just can’t do anything team oriented right now. I think he will be able to do that by first, second game. I think he’ll be able… and maybe some during this fall camp. But with that said, he’s not going to get here. He’s not going to be able to practice until school starts unless we have some type of injury. Then we can pull him off the waiver list, or however you want to look at it.”

The least serious injury of the group was to Turner.

“He hurt his shoulder,” Pittman said. “But he’ll be out there, so you guys will see. He’ll be out there in the green, but he’ll be going. He’s fine, but we’re going to play a little caution with him for a couple of weeks.”

Arkansas will hit the practice fields for the first time on Friday. The opening game is Saturday, Sept. 3, in Fayetteville against Cincinnati.

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