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Practice report: Sanders a game-time decision as Rebels wrap up preparation for Arkansas

Ole Miss wide receiver Braylon Sanders was “very” limited in practice on Wednesday and will be a game-time decision on Saturday, head coach Matt Luke said.

Sanders tweaked a hamstring in the second quarter in the Rebels’ 15-10 loss to Memphis and did not return to the game.  The junior is the most experienced wideout on a young receiving corps and his absence will be felt.

“All of us have to step up,” sophomore slot receiver Elijah Moore said. “It isn’t just one guy. Offensive line, receivers, all of us have to step up. A lot of things have to happen for a play to develop. We all have to step up.”

One of the more glaring statistics in the Rebels’ putrid offensive performance against the Tigers was the 93 passing yards Ole Miss totaled. Matt Corral was 9-of-19. Receivers struggled to create separation against Memphis’ secondary. Corral was inaccurate when he did get the ball away. Moore noted the field contributed to that, but didn’t want to use it as an excuse. He believes the receivers will put together a better collective performance and the offense will be more productive.

“Arkansas has a good defense,” Moore said. “It was just the first game. These things happen. We just have to take it one play at a time and we will be okay.”

— Senior defensive tackle Josiah Coatney assessed the defense’s performance against Memphis, why the Rebels tackled better, how much the improvement bred confidence amongst the defense and more.

Other injury notes:

— Freshman offensive lineman Darius Thomas returned to the practice field in a limited capacity this week. Thomas wore a green no-contact jersey without shoulder pads on Tuesday. He had not participated in any football activities since it was discovered he had a heart condition this summer.  Luke said Thomas will be reevaluated by the medical staff in the coming days and is hopeful Thomas can return to practice in a few weeks.

— Montrell Custis continues to rehab an ACL injury he suffered last September in a loss to Alabama and has remained in a green jersey since the start of fall camp. Luke said Custis’ knee has not fully healed.

“It’s just taken him a little bit longer,” Luke said. “Each individual is different. He hasn’t been out there full speed yet. He is going through the stuff and doing some different things but hasn’t let it loose yet. Mentally, he still has a couple of different things to go through before he is back full speed.”

Kickoff on Saturday is slated for 6:30 P.M.

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