FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The second week of preseason practice left Arkansas with three significant injuries.
Following the Razorbacks second scrimmage of camp on Saturday night, first-year coach Bret Bielema said sophomore linebacker Otha Peters, senior tight end Austin Tate and senior receiver Demetrius Wilson each sustained injuries this week — with Wilson's a season-ending knee ligament tear.
Peters will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken arm, while Tate is expected to miss approximately six weeks.
"I think that we've established a lot better depth than I could have ever imagined at the beginning of fall camp, just because some of our injury situations," Bielema said.
Bielema said Wilson, who was listed as a first-team receiver following the spring, will redshirt and return next season. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Wilson had nine catches for 117 yards last season in his first year after transferring to Arkansas.
Peters, who had 32 tackles last season as a freshman, could return by the time Arkansas opens Southeastern Conference play against Texas A&M on Sept. 28. The 6--2, 231-pound Peters recently moved to middle linebacker during the preseason, and he was expected to see significant playing time for the Razorbacks this season.
He still could, but only after recovering from Friday's surgery.
"I know he's got a redshirt, but we'll kind of talk through that as it goes," Bielema said. "The doctor that did the surgery yesterday (said) everything was on a positive going forward."
Tate's injury is the second shoulder injury he's suffered at Arkansas, but Bielema said this injury was completely unrelated to the first. The senior had 14 catches for 164 yards last season, and he was listed as the Razorbacks second-team tight end after the spring.
While Tate is expected to return this season, as Arkansas looks to replace the production of the graduated Chris Gragg, it was the reporting of his injury that caused a second run-in with Bielema and the Auburn coaching staff.
Former Arkansas assistant coach Tim Horton, now an assistant with the Tigers, tweeted his well-wishes to Tate on Friday night — a day before Bielema planned to release news of Wednesday's injury.
Bielema, who engaged in a bit of back-and-forth banter with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn at SEC media days over the rise of up-tempo offenses, said he spoke with Horton on Friday night about the early release of injury information.
"I go over in detail our players, our coaches, our media in-house and, of course, how we release information," Bielema said. "I forgot to review this with the Auburn staff.
"... I just expressed that we handle our injuries in-house. I know he's got a relationship, and that's all great, but I don't think we'll have the problem moving forward."