Arkansas defensive end Ernest Mitchell faces drug and firearm charges Thursday in Forrest City District Court.

Mitchell, 22, was stopped by officers in St. Francis County June 30 and was cited for improper display of license tags, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said.

Probable cause was found to stop the vehicle because Mitchell’s license tag was improperly displayed.

Mitchell’s status for the season was already in question as he recovered from off-season knee surgery. Coach Bobby Petrino said prior to his media golf tournament that he was unsure how the knee would affect Mitchell in 2008. Mitchell had surgery to repair a torn ACL in January.

“I’m not really sure how the knee is coming along,” Petrino said. “I know he’s been running and he’s also had it swell up a couple times. It’s just kind of wait and see.”

Mitchell, a 6-2, 305-pounder from Newnan, Ga., has started 20 games for the Razorbacks in his career. He recorded 66 tackles and a forced fumble in 11 starts last season.

Word of Mitchell’s arrest began circulating hours after Petrino announced he had suspended a pair of players for recent DWI charges. Mitchell marks the sixth scholarship Razorback football player to have an arrest made public since 2008 began.

Wide receiver Marques Wade was arrested Sunday on charges of DWI and careless driving.