Some spring practice news from around the SEC tonight, as the dreaded injury bug has hit in Fayetteville. Per the Democrat-Gazette:
Arkansas running back Broderick Green will miss the 2011 football season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The redshirt senior sustained the injury to his left knee during practice Wednesday as the team was gearing up for the Red-White game this weekend. He was slated to be a running back for the Red team.
While obviously you hate that anyone gets injured, for Arkansas as a whole I actually view this as somewhat of a positive moving forward, addition by subtraction if you will. Green is physically impressive with his raw size and he was a very highly-touted player coming out of high school, but the fact remains that he has been highly unproductive to date as a college player and has arguably received far more opportunities than he otherwise should have given his lack of production. Carries given to Green were generally little more than wasted downs that resulted in a dive into the interior yielding merely a few feet per attempt.
In fact, I find Bobby Petrino's usage of him a year ago largely indefensible. Even while Niles Davis and Ronnie Wingo were averaging over 6.0 yards per carry on 250+ attempts, for whatever reason Petrino still saw fit to give 104 generally unproductive carries to Green, who ended up with an alarmingly low 3.5 yards per rushing attempt. It wasn't until the second half of the season did Petrino limit Green's opportunities, and truth be told had he leaned heavily on Kniles Davis early in the season we may not have gotten the win in Fayetteville.
Regardless of whatever about Green enticed Petrino a year ago, this injury means Petrino won't encounter those same temptations in 2011, and for that reason alone the Arkansas running game could in fact be more dangerous after losing Green.