If Bret Bielema is holding out hope that he has his starting quarterback for Arkansas’ game against Rutgers this weekend, he’s keeping the media — and, more importantly, his opponent — in the dark about it.
Brandon Allen suffered an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder in the Razorbacks’ win over Southern Miss Saturday. A report surfaced Monday afternoon that the injury was significant enough to not only put Allen on the sidelines for the game against the Scarlet Knights, but possibly for the following weekend’s game as well.
When asked about the starter’s availability for the non-conference road game this weekend, Bielema kept his signal-caller cards very close to his vest.
“You know, it wasn’t anything structurally broke or anything like that,” Bielema said according to the Arkansas News. “So, it’s really just a matter of how fast his body can heal. I know it’s a throwing arm issue. So, it’s not like you’re dealing with something of a normal player that … You’ve got to be full strength. You’ve got to be … I wouldn’t want to put him in harm’s way at all.”
The first-year UA head coach is also instituting a quarterback blackout, making players at that position off-limits to the media this week as well as continuing the practice of closed practice sessions.
If Allen is unable to play, AJ Derby would start against Rutgers. Derby, a walk-on who began his collegiate playing career at Iowa and transferred to the Hogs last December after a year at the JUCO level, went 4-of-six for 46 yards after replacing Allen last weekend.
Rutgers is dealing with its own question marks at the position after starter Gary Nova suffered a concussion Saturday. Nova is officially listed as probable, although an official determination won’t be made until later in the week.