FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has lost another defensive player for the rest of the season.
Defensive end Tenarius Wright will miss the remainder of the season because of a shoulder injury that will require surgery. The news came after Wright underwent an imaging scan on his shoulder Monday. He is the second defensive captain to be ruled out for the season this week.
Linebacker Alonzo Highsmith also is done after a foot injury.
"He had to make a decision on what to do," Arkansas coach John L. Smith said about Wright on Wednesday. "It is injured. He had to make a decision on what to do and he’s decided he’s going to go get it fixed. So he’ll be out for the year.”
Wright has been bothered by the shoulder injury since the first week of preseason practice, when he missed significant practice time. He was moved from linebacker back to defensive end late last month in hopes he could stay healthier at the position. But Wright did not play against Auburn and is done after logging 28 tackles in five games.
He also joins a growing list of players who have suffered season-ending injuries in 2012. Highsmith underwent surgery for a foot injury he sustained at Auburn last week and will not return. Fullbacks Kiero Small (foot) and Kody Walker (leg) suffered injuries earlier this season.
Wright also is among a long list of starters who have missed games with injuries this season. That list includes: Wright, Small, Highsmith, quarterback Tyler Wilson, tight end Chris Gragg, cornerback Tevin Mitchel, safety Eric Bennett, guard Tyler Deacon and cornerback Kaelon Kelleybrew.
Smith said Mitchel, who has missed four straight games after suffering a head injury against ULM and then undergoing gall bladder surgery, participated in contact work for the first time Tuesday and cold return Saturday. He wasn't as optimistic about Gragg, saying the senior remained "very, very doubtful" for the Kentucky game.
"He's moving in the right direction," Smith said. "Is he going to be ready to go this week? Very, very doubtful. I'm just going to be honest with you. He's probably another game away."
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau