FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ second week of preseason camp proved to be a costly one.
Coach Bret Bielema went through a list of significant injuries after Saturday’s scrimmage in Razorback Stadium, which was closed to the public. The most significant is to wide receiver Demetrius Wilson, who is out for the season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during practice last week.
But he’s not alone: Backup middle linebacker Otha Peters also will miss approximately six to eight weeks after suffering a broken arm. Senior tight end Austin Tate is out for a “maximum of six weeks” after suffering a shoulder injury.
Tate and Peters already have undergone surgery.
Bielema called it a “blessing” they’ll be able to return.
The same can’t be said for Wilson, who was one of three senior leaders at receiver expecting a big year. The junior college transfer caught 9 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown in 2012, but had become one of the team’s top wideouts since the spring.
Bielema said Wilson will undergo knee surgery Wednesday.
“Demetrius has a redshirt year opportunity in front of him and we’re truly blessed we’ll be able to get him back for another year,” Bielema said.
Bielema said Peters also has a redshirt available if needed, but “we’ll kind of talk through that as it goes.” He said there’s a chance Tate could return before Southeastern Conference play begins against Texas A&M on Sept. 28.
“Austin Tate took a shot to the shoulder,” Bielema said of Tate, who has injured his shoulder before. “Nothing whatsoever to do with the previous shoulder surgery. Same shoulder, but totally different mechanics. They went in there and put in a little plate he should be back at a maximum of six weeks.”
The three join a lengthy list of significant Razorbacks who have missed practice time this preseason because of injuries. Center Travis Swanson (groin), fullback Kiero Small (foot), defensive tackle Byran Jones (foot) and safety Rohan Gaines (knee) were sidelined for Arkansas’ first scrimmage last week.
Bielema said those four have returned to practices this week. However, he said several players were held out of Saturday’s closed scrimmage.
“We held some guys (Saturday) through the practices just because we wanted to see what some of the backups were going to do to be quite honest and get a measure of where they’re at,” Bielema said. “And just kind of protect our guys to get through to next week.”
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau