Tyler Wilson won’t play, Arkansas coach John L. Smith labels him game-time decision
“There will be no further update on Tyler Wilson’s status today, and he will be a game-time decision,” John L. Smith released in a statement.
However, ESPN is reporting that the chances of Tyler Wilson’s starting Saturday’s game are slim.
At the end of first half at last Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas had been safely perched at a 21-7 lead with Tyler Wilson, who amassed 196 passing yards. However, things changed course late in the third quarter after Tyler Wilson took a hit to the head when the Arkansas were at 28-14. Redshirted freshman Brandon Allen filled in for Tyler Wilson but couldn’t help Arkansas avoid a 34-31 loss to Louisiana-Monroe in overtime.
John L. Smith appeared optimistic about Tyler Wilson’s condition earlier in the week, but last season’s first-team All-SEC selection watched Tuesday’s practice from the sidelines in his street clothes. Tyler Wilson was back on-field Wednesday, but was banned from contact and merely passed the ball.
Tyler Wilson was absent again on Thursday, but John L. Smith reported that the quarterback was “busy” since he was being “evaluated” after the injury to determine his status by Friday morning.
The quarterback’s practice routine has remained day-to-day, and Arkansas radio show host Bo Mattingly reported that Tyler Wilson will remain sidelined through the Razorbacks’ game against Crimson Tide this Saturday.
John L. Smith had observed earlier this week that if Tyler Wilson was kept off practice this week he most likely won’t play against Arkansas; and the quarterback’s appearance on-field has remained limited throughout the week.
This doesn’t happen to be Tyler Wilson’s first head injury. He also sustained a concussion in Week 2 of last season, although he was able to immediately return for the next week.
With Tyler Wilson most probably out of the picture, Arkansas has Brandon Allen and junior Brandon Mitchell lined-up next for the starting quarterback position.
Brandon Mitchell, who started as receiver this season and was Tyler Wilson’s backup last season, has been taking reps at starting quarterback during practice this week after Brandon Allen struggled against Louisiana-Monroe last week.
“You’ve just got to throw that behind,” stated Brandon Mitchell following Saturday’s loss “You can’t forget what happened because you’ve got to stay hungry…It’s like it never happened(Louisiana-Monroe loss) for us.”
Whoever fills in at starting quarterback will be in a tough spot and open to punishment from the Alabama defense, which chewed-in and spit out Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson at the beginning of this season. Arkansas offensive line has struggled find opportunities for the secondary and failed to protect the quarterback in the past.
Alabama coach Nick Saban expected the “best game” out of Arkansas and hoped that the Razorbacks were able to put last week’s loss behind them.
"Whoever plays, stated Nick Saban, “we're going to have to do a good job of executing and do our job.”