Tennessee did just enough to get past Florida without the services of star receiver Cedric Tillman. Bru McCoy, Jalin Hyatt and Ramel Keyton stepped up and delivered, while Hendon Hooker played lights out.
But can they do it again? They might have to against LSU this week, but we don’t know for sure. Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel (surprisingly) said on Monday that Tillman was limited in practice, but was able to at least get on the field.
That’s a positive update for Tillman, who is just two weeks removed from the ‘tightrope’ ankle surgery.
“Cedric did have surgery,” Heupel confirmed. “He did that — had an opportunity to speed up the recovery process. We’ll see where he’s at. He was limited (during Monday’s practice) but moving around a little bit today. We’ll continue to see how it unfolds this week and see where we’re at.”
Tillman suffered a high ankle sprain on a low hit against Akron. Chris Low reported that Tillman had surgery in the days following that game with hopes of returning in a few weeks. The same surgery was performed on Tua Tagovailoa during his time at Alabama. Tua played 28 days later. Every situation is different, of course.
My best guess, emphasis on guess: Tennessee is trying to get him ready for the Alabama game. The Volunteers still have eight games left to play — and potentially a whole lot to play for. Rushing him back doesn’t make a ton of sense, especially after Keyton proved his worth against the Gators.
Heupel will speak with the media again on Wednesday and Thursday.