Jonathan Williams injured his foot in Arkansas' scrimmage on Saturday. He took a big hit late in the practice and walked off the field. It didn't seem significant at the time although he didn't return. Bielema said afterward he wasn't sure what happened but it looked like he had a "tender ankle".
Apparently it's a much bigger deal than initially thought because Williams' injury requires surgery and he'll be out for "an extended period of time during the 2015 season."
The press release from Arkansas does not state what exactly the injury is nor give any indication as to what an "extended period of time" means.
For the Razorbacks, this means Alex Collins is the clear #1 on the depth chart for the time being. It may also mean more carries for freshman Rawleigh Williams III, who has played really well in camp so far, and also 5th year junior Kody Walker.
As long as "extended period of time" remains undefined, many will likely look toward Arkansas' schedule to determine what would be most beneficial for the Hogs. Arkansas plays three non-conference opponents in the first three weeks of the season before starting SEC play in Arlington against Texas A&M in the last weekend of September. That's 6 weeks from now. Could he be back by then? Who knows. It's all just guessing at this point without knowing the severity of the injury and the surgery required.
Unfortunately, it's not unusual for Arkansas fans to deal with injuries to star running backs in the preseason. Knile Davis broke his ankle early in camp in 2011 and missed the entire season. Darren McFadden nearly lost his big toe during a fight outside a club in Little Rock just before camp started in 2006. He didn't miss any games but clearly wasn't 100% for the first few weeks of the season. Of course, Arkansas went on to win 21 games in those two seasons, so perhaps this is a good omen? Maybe? Perhaps?
Williams is Arkansas’ No. 10 all-time leading rusher with 2,321 career rushing yards. His 5.72 career yards per rush average ranks sixth all-time at Arkansas and his 1,190 rushing yards in 2014 was the eighth-best single-season mark in Razorback history. The Allen, Texas native was named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award and Doak Walker Award.