It was an easy night on the scoreboard for Tennessee, but it was one that created a couple of key injury situations. Running back Jabari Small went down early on, and then Cedric Tillman took a shot to the knee and didn’t return.
Tillman made his thoughts known on the situation on Sunday morning.
Dirty— Cedric Tillman (@Ctillman04) September 18, 2022
Tillman was able to walk off, and according to the SEC Network broadcast, Tillman came out of the tent and said, “I’m good.”
Obviously the timing of the situation couldn’t be worse with Florida looming next.
“Don’t know yet, at this point, but we’re hopeful,” Heupel said. “Jabari (Small), same thing. We held them (out) from that point on in the football game, just because of the scoreboard and to get those guys some treatment.”
Jaylen Wright ran for 96 yards and two scores in Small’s absence. Jalin Hyatt took over the passing attack, catching five passes for 166 yards.
We’ll be monitoring those situations all week.
Senior cornerback Warren Burrell missed yesterday’s game, and JUCO cornerback Dee Williams was held out of action yet again. It sounds like both could have gone if needed.
“I just felt like we had an opportunity to kind of rotate,” Heupel said. “Not mass sub but rotate throughout the course of it. Dee (Williams) and Warren (Burrell), we were optimistic, but didn’t feel like we could play them. Let me take that back. Didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do to play them in this one. So we’re optimistic and hopeful for the next one.”
Kamal Hadden and Christian Charles got the start, while Brandon Turnage, De’Shawn Rucker and Christian Harrison rotated in.
Obviously the most concern here is for Tillman, who is easily Tennessee’s top weapon. Bru McCoy and Jalin Hyatt are really nice compliments, but Tillman is the guy that can go win you ballgame — as you saw against Pitt.
Heupel will meet with the media again on Monday, but he probably won’t offer much information.