FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen began a week of practice Tuesday at full strength for the first time in a month. Allen sustained a right shoulder injury in a loss to South Carolina on Oct. 7 that forced him to miss the past four games.
His replacement Cole Kelley, however, was limited in practice Tuesday due to a foot injury. Kelley had his foot stepped on in a win over Coastal Carolina last Saturday. He has been in a walking boot as a result and is expected to receive treatment for the medical staff before and after practice this week.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said Monday the team would not name a starter prior to facing LSU on Saturday (11 a.m. CT, ESPN). There has been no indication since on if Kelley’s injury is helping make that decision easier.
Regardless of his status as the starter, Allen is just happy to be healthy for a full week of preparation. He started every game in 2016 and the first five this season. Kelley has started the past four.
“It’s been frustrating,” Allen said. “It’s been a frustrating four weeks for myself, just going into treatment every day, trying to get this thing back right. All the work I’ve put in just being able to go back out there and throw it around and practice with the guys, it kind of gives you a new breath of football. You take it away for four weeks, you think it’s gone, and you get it back. I feel like a kid again out there.”
Allen has watched from the sideline as Kelley helped orchestrate come-from-behind victories the past two weeks. He described the experience as reminiscent of his first three seasons at Arkansas, when the Hogs played several close games and he was the backup to his brother Brandon.
This week, he’s looking forward to potentially making his return to the field.
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