Nutt: Cobbs, Howard to play against Kentucky

Updated: October 30, 2003, 9:24 PM ET

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas tailbacks Cedric Cobbs and De'Arrius Howard are expected to play Saturday at Kentucky, after showing signs of recovering from injuries, coach Houston Nutt said Thursday.

DeCori Birmingham will start at tailback, Nutt said, where he was moved from receiver after both Cobbs (right hamstring) and Howard (ankle) were injured Oct. 18 against Florida.

"The tailbacks are getting better each day and looked a lot better again today," Nutt said. "They still have more time to keep getting treatment and hopefully De'Arrius and Cedric will be close to full speed Saturday night."

Nutt said he didn't know how long Cobbs and Howard would try to play against the Wildcats.

In practice Thursday, the Razorbacks concentrated on punt and kickoff return coverage to prepare for Kentucky wide receiver Derek Abney, who recently tied the NCAA record of eight total kick return touchdowns and broke the SEC record of five punt return touchdowns against Mississippi State. Abney is second in the nation on all-purpose yards, averaging 165.9 per game.

"Derek Abney is a good one," Nutt said. "We've got to do a great job and be real disciplined in our lanes."

Saturday's game at Lexington, Ky., kicks off at 6 p.m. CST and will be televised on ESPN2.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index