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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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‘Injury bug’ delays momentum for Arkansas, A&M teams

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Photo by PROVIDED

No. 11 Josh Walker (above) has not seen the field since week one and his return for week four is questionable. 

This year, the injury bug has hit many teams hard. Both Texas A&M and Arkansas have their fair share of injury issues. 

Let’s begin with Arkansas. Entering the year, Arkansas was an SEC dark horse. They returned two 1,000-yard rushers (Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins) and, to many within the state of Arkansas, finally things turned around after the Bobby Petrino era. However, with home losses to Toledo and Texas Tech to start the year, the Hogs have been a bit of a disappointment this season. 

Jonathan Williams, RB: Williams came into the year as the No. 1 back in a one-two punch of a backfield alongside fellow 1,000 yard rusher in 2014, Alex Collins. Williams amassed 1,190 yards on the ground and 12 touchdowns last season He suffered a foot injury during a scrimmage in Fall camp, and will be out for the remainder of this year. Of all the injury issues Arkansas has suffered, this one appears to have hurt the most so far in 2015.

Keon Hatcher, WR: Unlike Williams, Hatcher is not lost for the entire season, but did injure his foot in the game against Toledo. However, due to the speed demanded from the wide receiver position, he could be out a little longer than the original six week diagnosis. Up until the game against Toledo, he led the team with 198 yards receiving and two touchdowns. 

For A&M, they actually begin to return a few of their big time players, and in addition, add some much needed depth. Coming into the year, the depth at linebacker and on the defensive line was a big questions. Now, sitting pretty at 3-0 heading into SEC competition and No. 14 in the nation, A&M gets the depth they needed.

James White, RB: A talented backup behind Tra Carson, White was expected to carry the load behind Carson in 2015. However, a nagging injury has kept him mostly inactive for the last few games. He might make an appearance for A&M if necessary, but odds are, A&M will go with Carson and Brice Dolezal in the backfield for most of the game. 

Jay Bradford, RB: The freshman running back from Splendora (TX) found out about an undisclosed health issue during the offseason. He has not suited up so far for A&M, and head coach Kevin Sumlin has expressed that his health is the first concern.

Josh Walker, LB: He was believed to have been ready to go for the Nevada game. However, Walker did not suit up for the game. A&M has some better depth at linebacker now, so depending on the situation, Walker may or may not play against Arkansas on Saturday. 

Overall, watch for how the Arkansas offense moves the ball against the aggressive A&M defense. With A&M likely to stack the box a little more due to a powerful rushing attack capped by the biggest offensive line in all of football, Arkansas will have to go to the air, most likely to Hunter Henry at tight end. It will be interesting to see how much pressure A&M decides to send.

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