FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach John L. Smith received good news Thursday.
Quarterback Tyler Wilson has been cleared to play against Rutgers.
The senior will be back under center when Arkansas returns to the field Saturday night. He missed the Alabama game after suffering a concussion against Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 8 and Arkansas has struggled without him. Smith said Wilson’s return is uplifting news for his team as it tries to snap its losing streak.
“I think they’re fired up about that,” Smith said. “They realize, ‘Gosh, the whole week of practice, it’s not for naught. He’s really going to be out there.’ … That energy. That postiveness. That vocal person that we need. His energy and that postiveness, it just kind of breeds and it keeps going and it spirals and that’s what we need.”
Wilson completed 30 of 47 passes for 563 yards with 5 touchdowns and an interception before leaving the field with the head injury.
He has practiced all week, but Arkansas was waiting clearance from the doctors. Wilson didn’t get it last Saturday and watched Arkansas struggling to a 52-0 loss to the Crimson Tide.
But Wilson played a role in the postgame press conference with a fiery statement, where he said players “at times gave up.”
Smith said Thursday his admiration for Wilson’s leadership has grown even more since then. He said Wilson has challenged everyone to be accountable.
“We know that we have to have him out there. We know that he is our inspiration, our leader, all of that stuff. He’s wanting everybody. And basically what I took from what he was saying is we all have to look in the mirror. We all have to be accountable. We all have to do our job and I’m going to make sure I do mine. That was what I took away.
“I think if everybody takes that away and goes to the field … Then it’s a pretty darn good message.”