All eyes have been on Cedric Tillman this week, but another key injury has our attention as well. Running back Jabari Small went down early against Akron, which could spell potential disaster for Tennessee with only three more scholarship backs behind him on the roster.
However, according to running backs coach Jerry Mack, Jabari Small was a full go in Tuesday’s practice.
RB Jabari Small was available to participate in all 21 or 22 periods in Tennessee practice.— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) September 20, 2022
"We didn't have to limit him," RBs coach Jerry Mack said.
That’s big news for Tennessee, which has just Jaylen Wright and true freshmen Dylan Sampson and Justin Williams-Thomas on the depth chart.
Another interesting note from Mack today was that tight end Princeton Fant received some work at running back, in case of emergency. Fant worked at running back a few years ago under the Jeremy Pruitt staff, as you may remember. It would take disaster for Tennessee to get to that point, but if they do, Fant will at least have a baseline.
Small has yet to find much running room so far this season, rushing for just 94 yards on 25 carries (3.8 yards per carry). Jaylen Wright has been more productive, running for 231 yards on 45 carries (5.1 yards per carry). Both have scored three times, and so has Sampson.
Tennessee’s rushing attack has yet to hit its stride so far this season, which is something that obviously has to change as SEC play arrives. They’ll get their first crack at that this Saturday, thankfully at full strength against the Florida Gators.
And now we wait on Cedric Tillman...