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Tag:Knile Davis Ankle Injury
Posted on: August 12, 2011 6:42 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2011 6:44 pm
 

With Knile Davis out, now what for Arkansas RBs?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

While the future of the SEC hangs in the balance in College Station and Birmingham, the present of the SEC took an unfortunate turn Thursday when Arkansas running back Knile Davis suffered a season-ending ankle injury.

The SEC's leading returning rusher and a pick by many to make first-eam All-SEC despite the presence of potential All-Americans like Marcus Lattimore and Trent Richardson, Davis was set to be arguably the foundation for Bobby Petrino's entire 2011 offense. His loss is a savage blow to a program that had yet to uncover a true workhorse back since Darren McFadden, at least until Davis roared onto the scene in the second half of 2010. Making things worse, second-leading rusher Broderick Green was lost for the year in the spring with an ACL tear.

But obviously, the show in Fayetteville will go on all the same--and given the weapons Petrino has at his disposal at wide receiver and quarterback Tyler Wilson's abundant potential, it could still be quite a show. (Wilson went 16-of-20 in the same scrimmage in which Davis was injured.) Here's the Hogs' top options to replace Davis:

Ronnie Wingo: The Hogs' next leading rusher in 2010 -- though with only 253 yards -- the 6'3", 227-pound junior from St. Louis will likely have first crack as the offense's everydown back. Wingo provides both a brusiing straight-ahead running style and a receiving threat out of the backfield; he caught 27 passes a year ago for more yardage (274) than he gained on the ground. But Petrino would likely want a starter who'll do more than grind out three- and four-yard gains. Would Wingo be explosive enough?

Dennis Johnson:  Perhaps the back with the highest upside among the remaining candidates, Johnson's combnation of speed, power and elusiveness has made him a fearful weapon when focused and healthy--witness his 107-yard, 7.6 yards-per-carry outburst in the Hogs' 2009 near-upset at Florida, or his pair of career kick returns for touchdowns. But that hasn't been often, as Johnson played in just two games a year ago thanks to a freak bowel injury. Reportedly healthy again, don't be surprised of Johnson winds up getting the majority of the Hog carries this season. 

Kody Walker: Despite his Maxpreps ranking as the nation's No. 6 "big back" in the class of 2011, Arkansas was the Jefferson City, Mo. product's only SEC offer, choosing the Hogs over Minnesota and Missouri. But the early returns are that Petrino may have found a gem, as Walker gained 66 yards on 15 carries in a recent scrimmage and earned praise from Hog offensive coordinator Garrick McGee. Though clearly behind Wingo and Johnson in the pecking order, Walker is in line to earn the occasional spot carry--and maybe even more if he proves himself capable.

Kiero Small: A converted linebacker fresh out of JUCO, the 5'10", 255-pound Small has already made a big impression at fullback. Though not a candidate for major carries, Small could be used a goal-line and short-yardage option much as Green was a year ago.

All in all, things could be a whole heck of a lot better for Arkansas at running back. But with two experienced options still in the fold and Johnson in particular (in this writer's opinion) possessing the talent that could still make him a difference-maker in the SEC, things could be a whole lot worse, too.


Posted on: August 12, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: August 12, 2011 10:18 am
 

Arkansas RB Knile Davis out for the season

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: Arkansas has confirmed that Davis is expected to miss the season with a left ankle injury

"I am extremely disappointed for Knile," head coach Bobby Petrino said in a prepared statement. "He is a captain who was incredibly focused on the upcoming year. His leadership throughout the offseason was significant in the development of this team. Our athletic trainers and medical staff are the best in the country, and Knile's mental toughness will be an asset to him during the recovery process. I am fully confident in the mindset of our running back group and their ability to perform."

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Arkansas fans were horrified when they heard the reports of Knile Davis' lower leg injury on Thursday. Offensive coordinator Garric McGee and the rest of the Razorbacks refused to speak with the media about the severity of the injury, citing team policy for Bobby Petrino to be the only one to speak on the topic of player injuries.  CBSSports.com's Jimmy Carter reports that the Davis' injury is "major" and he will miss "significant" time.

Davis' Arkansas teammates took to Twitter on Thursday night, sending their thoughts and prayers to the star running back.

Running back Broderick Green: "Prayers go out to my RB Knile Davis pray he stays strong and know GOD will see him through this difficult time. Please say a prayer for him."

Offensive guard Grant Cook: "The Lord does everything for a reason, we may not understand it, but there is a plan set in motion! #GodBless7."

While the media may not have been able to ask the players any questions about the severity of the injury, the players' tone has indicated that this is likely as bad as many have feared. Arkansas' Rivals site has already reported that Davis will be out for the season, and word out of Little Rock seems to confirm that suspicion.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com