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2013 NFL Draft: Arkansas senior defenders lost for the season

By Dane Brugler | NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst

The bad news just keeps coming for the Arkansas football program. This week, head coach John L. Smith announced the Razorbacks would be without two senior defenders for the remainder of the season due to injuries. Linebacker Alonzo Highsmith suffered ligament damage in his foot and defensive end Tenarius Wright has a shoulder injury. Both players were injured in Arkansas win over Auburn and will undergo surgery.

Highsmith was the Razorbacks leading tackler through six games with 54 stops, which was good for fourth in the SEC. He was sidelined most of this past off-season after injuring his left pectoral muscle lifting weights. The spring injury required surgery, but he was ready for the season opener in September. Highsmith is the son of Alonzo Highsmith, who played running back at Miami (Fla.) before a seven-year NFL career. He is currently a senior personnel executive with the Green Bay Packers.

Wright was moved between middle linebacker and defensive end as a senior, struggling to find a permanent home. He is currently fifth on the team in tackles (28), but didn't record a sack in 2012.

“He had to make a decision on what to do and he's decided he's going to get it fixed,” Smith said regarding Wright and his injury. “It's been one of those years. You can't explain it.”

Both players were considered late round NFL Draft prospects entering the season and season-ending injuries won't help their draft stock. While their collegiate careers are likely over, there is a chance Highsmith and Wright could be ready for pre-draft workouts.

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