OXFORD – The second day of practice for Ole Miss was eerily reminiscent of the second day of practice one year ago, as a starting wide receiver went down with an injury.
Sophomore Vince Sanders was escorted off the field to have an X-ray done on his shoulder Saturday morning. Results later in the afternoon showed a broken collarbone. Sanders will have surgery Tuesday and will be out six to eight weeks.
A junior from Macon, Sanders had 39 caches last year and was second on the team in receiving yards with 504 and in touchdowns with four.
The injury occurred when Sanders was tackled to the ground in the non-contact practice.
“That’s kind of ruined my whole day … when you see us do a foolish thing,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “In one-on-ones taking one of your teammates to the ground is never a good thing.”
The Rebels will be back on the field this morning.
Starting cornerbacks Senquez Golson and Charles Sawyer and defensive tackle Issac Gross were also held out of the practice. Defensive end C.J. Johnson was dressed but limited.
Freeze said Friday he felt like Sawyer was the farthest away from being ready to compete.
“I’ve said all along my biggest concern was how these guys come back from all these injuries we’ve had,” Freeze said. “It’s still a concern.”
With Golson and Sawyer out most of the No. 1 cornerback reps went to Dehendret Collins and Quintavius Burdette, both recent arrivals at the position.
Freeze praised his team’s conditioning, but linebacker Mike Marry is eager to return to last November’s pace.
“We came out at a good pace, but we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got to run to the ball more to get back to where we were last year,” said Marry, who intercepted a Bo Wallace pass and returned it for a touchdown.
A number of freshmen worked in the two-deep, including offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil with the first team.
Right tackle Pierce Burton was out with a lower back strain. Starting left tackle Emmanuel McCray moved to the left side, and Tunsil ran with the ones.
Defensive end Robert Nkemdiche was with the second team throughout the workout. Defensive line coach Chris Kiffin was in Nkemdiche’s face at every opportunity working to get last year’s No. 1 recruit ready to play.
“He’s physically gifted enough to play, so it’s all about can he understand what we’re trying to get accomplished and what the assignments are,” Freeze said. “If we can get that, theres no question that he physically can play. They better be trying to get him ready.”