FAYETTEVILLE — Quarterback Brandon Allen isn’t listed on Arkansas’ depth chart for its Southeastern Conference opener against Texas A&M on Saturday. But Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said he’s not ruling Allen out as he rehabilitates his injured shoulder.
Bielema said his quarterback plan remains the same this week as the Razorbacks begin preparation for the Aggies. Backup AJ Derby will prepare for his second straight start, while Allen remains questionable after suffering the shoulder injury during the first quarter of Arkansas’ 24-3 win against Southern Miss on Sept. 14.
“If (Allen) at any point, even if it’s not until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, says that he can go and the doctors give him 100 percent we’ll go that direction,” Bielema said. “If not it will be obviously AJ again and Austin (Allen) as his backup.”
Derby completed 14 of 26 passes for 137 yards with a touchdown in Allen’s place against Rutgers. Bielema said Allen was nowhere close to being ready to throw the football, but he traveled with the team and helped Derby from the sideline.
“He’d talk to him every time he’d come off the sideline,” Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said. “It was good to have him there. I’m glad we did that.”
Bielema is hopeful Allen will be able to practice on a “limited” basis Tuesday.
Allen completed 26 of 44 passes for 388 yards with five touchdowns and an interception in nine quarters before the injury. He hurt his throwing shoulder diving into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown run against Southern Miss.
“He's a strong presence for our football team,” Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. said about Allen’s absence. “Him being with us, traveling with us, I think was a great thing. But you could see the disappointment in his eyes.
“Obviously I think the competitor in him wanted to be out there with us. And I think he will, within the correct time frame, coming up soon.”
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau