We’re trying something a bit different here with the injury reports, to make sure that you get the best information about your favorite SEC teams in the best way.
So instead of one overall SEC Injury Report as we’ve done, we’re breaking things down a bit differently. Let us know on Facebook if you like it!
Arkansas’ Jeremy Sprinkle should be OK
“Spotted wearing a walking boot.” It seems like a significant detail, but this oft-heard phrase around football is less and less meaningful it seems. Walking boots are typically precautionary measures early in the week, handed out quickly almost the way crutches used to be.
One key is that they’re much easier to pack for travel, so on the road, they’re more likely to be used. He tweeted out Thursday that he was at 100 percent, which has to be a good sign.
While Sprinkle hasn’t had more than 4 receptions in a game this season, he’s a big target in the red zone. At 6-foot-6 and 256 pounds, and athletic for his size, Sprinkle is reminiscent of someone like Antonio Gates. Given 4 touchdowns in just 23 receptions, it’s clear that Austin Allen is looking for the big man down there.
Sprinkle needs to be just fast enough to get off the line, then post up in the end zone, using that big body to his advantage. Gates played well through some serious foot and ankle issues, so Sprinkle would do well to take a lesson. He could well follow Hunter Henry into the NFL if he does.
How much will we see of Kamryn Pettway?
A big, bruising back like Pettway often takes as much punishment as he gives out. If you think about it like a car crash, both cars take damage. Pettway missed practice at least once this week after the team said he “pulled something” late in the Vanderbilt game.
It was clear on video that this was a muscle strain, likely to the quad or hamstring, so missing some time isn’t unusual. Depending on how severe the strain is and the location, it can take anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks to return. There is some recurrence risk, especially early in the healing process.
However, reports from the team offered conflicting information. Did he practice or didn’t he? That’s still an unknown, but Pettway will make the trip with the team. Kerryon Johnson could take the bulk of the carries, but Pettway’s availability remains a question mark. Pettway did miss time earlier this season with what the team called a thigh bruise, and he came back both quickly and well.
How much can Reggie Davis do for Georgia?
Davis is a big question mark for this week’s game, but he’s not the only one. Much of the wide receiver depth chart for Kirby Smart’s team is hurting, with Davis perhaps the biggest concern. Davis suffered a mild AC sprain, which is the joint between the collarbone and the shoulder itself.
Not only is this painful, but it can limit motion. For a receiver that has to reach out, pull in the ball, fight with defensive backs and land on the ground, that kind of injury is very problematic.
AC sprains come in degrees, so it’s tough to tell how this will affect Davis, but there’s no way to brace it without limiting his motion, and shoulder pads really don’t help protect this kind of injury.
Assuming the medical staff deems it safe, one thing Davis could do is run. That would make him, at worst, a decoy or a guy who could be put into patterns to help the team. Given injuries to other receivers, there’s value in that.
UK QB Drew Barker’s upcoming surgery
While the Wildcats aren’t offering specifics on what surgery Barker will undergo on his back, one thing is clear — he’s out for the season. Barker has had issues with his back all season, and while I could not confirm the details of his surgery, all the symptoms have matched up with a simple herniated disc, including pain and loss of function.
The medical staff and Barker did all they could to maintain him through the season, but they reached a point where a decision had to be made. Looking at the calendar, I wonder if the team is counting back from spring practice for the surgery date.
There are a couple possibilities for the surgery, a microdiscectomy and a spinal fusion. If Barker has a microdiscectomy, where part of the disc is removed, he could return in time for spring practice and be well healed by the fall. However, a fusion, where the disc is removed and hardware is inserted to lock two of the vertebrae together, would make a return much, much tougher. The surgery will come over Thanksgiving week, so Barker’s future should be known shortly after.