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Heupel talks Hendon Hooker, Cade Mays injuries

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NCAA Football: Mississippi at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The injury bug continued to bite Tennessee on Saturday night, as the Volunteers lost two more key players. Right tackle Cade Mays left the game early, and then quarterback Hendon Hooker went down late in the fourth quarter as he was trying to put together a game winning drive.

Hooker was tackled from behind and had to be helped off of the field. He did not put any weight on his right leg. Obviously, Hooker’s injury looms large with Alabama up next for Tennessee. Joe Milton came in and finished the game, making a head-scratching decision to run out of bounds on the final play of the game.

Following the game, Josh Heupel didn’t have an update on his starting quarterback.

“No update on Hendon at this point,” Heupel said. “Too early. We’ll find out as the weekend unfolds here, tomorrow.”

Milton started the first two games this season, but was replaced after he was sidelined with an injury. Hooker stole the job from there, playing steady, winning football. Once again, everything is up in the air for Tennessee under center.

The status of Cade Mays will also be something to follow this week.

“(Cade) was moving around in the locker room tonight,” Heupel said. “He’s really disappointed. As somebody that’s grown up here, he said he’s been to a lot of football games here inside of the stadium, said that’s the most energetic and juicy atmosphere he’s ever seen and really disappointed that he only got three plays. I would assume that he’s going to be ready to play for the next one.”

Tennessee was forced to play without starting center Cooper Mays along with starting running back Tiyon Evans against Ole Miss. The offensive line really struggled in the first half, but they were able to adjust and improve in the second half.

Clearly, Tennessee is going to need all hands on deck next week in Tuscaloosa. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait and see on Hooker.