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Heupel provides Thursday update on Cedric Tillman

Here’s what we know.

Syndication: Beaver County Times Michael Longo/For USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

Cedric Tillman continues to work back from a high ankle sprain, but his status for Saturday’s game is still an unknown. Tennessee’s top wide receiver took a low shot against Akron, and hasn’t seen the field since.

Diagnosed with the dreaded high ankle sprain, Tillman had surgery in the days following in hopes of speeding up the rehab process. The ‘tightrope’ surgery brought former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa back to the field in about a month a few years ago. We’re still a week away from that timeframe for Tillman.

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel said that Tillman did return to the field on Monday in limited fashion. He said more of the same today in his update.

“You guys know we’ve got great trust and belief in the guys that have played,” Heupel said. “That’s our starters, Cedric too. But you know the guys behind all of those guys, too. Last week we didn’t change how we played when Cedric was out.

“Cedric is able to move around. Ultimately, that will be a decision the medical staff and him make tomorrow. Whether or not he’s going to play.”

At this point, the overwhelming belief is that Tennessee will be without Tillman at LSU. The Volunteers beat Florida without him, and the passing game didn’t seem to suffer all that much. Ramel Keyton stepped up in a big way in his place, and more than likely will have to do so again on Saturday.

Tennessee’s objective with Tillman seems clear — just get him ready for Alabama on the 15th. That would be just under a month of recovery time from the surgery, which is within the rough estimate of a timeframe.