Arkansas quarterback coach John L. Smith said quarterback Tyler Wilson is still “day to day” after suffering a head injury in Saturday’s loss to Louisiana-Monroe.
Speaking on the SEC’s weekly conference call with reporters, Smith said Wilson has not been cleared to return to practice.
He watched Tuesday’s workout in shorts, a white T-shirt and a white baseball cap. After Wednesday’s workout, defensive coordinator Paul Haynes said Wilson threw but has not been cleared to play.
Smith said he feels better about Wilson’s chances now than he did Monday.
“Yes, I am more optimistic, but still that decision hasn’t been made yet,” Smith said. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed as well.”
Wilson’s backup is redshirt freshman Brandon Allen, who completed 6 of 20 passes for 85 yards Saturday in relief. His final 12 passes went incomplete as Arkansas blew a 28-7 lead and eventually fell 34-31 in overtime.
However, Alabama coach Nick Saban was complimentary of Allen.
“For a guy who hadn’t played a lot, he did some good things,” Saban said on the conference call.
Allen is a redshirt freshman. Another backup quarterback is junior Brandon Mitchell, who completed 22 of 32 passes last year for 271 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also plays receiver and has caught four passes for 122 yards this season.
Also on the call, Smith joked a bit about one of his former players: Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who played for him at Idaho. Nussmeier won the Walter Payton Award in 1993 as the nation’s top Division I-AA player. He led Smith’s Idaho team to the I-AA semifinals.
Nussmeier also coached quarterbacks for Smith at Michigan State in 2003-05.
While Smith talked about his respect for Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, he joked, “but they need an offensive coordinator.”