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Heupel remains ‘hopeful’ on Cedric Tillman, other injury situations ahead of Florida

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Tennessee at Pitt Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As expected, Josh Heupel didn’t give us much of an update on the status of Cedric Tillman following Thursday’s practice. Tennessee’s head coach took to the podium for the final time ahead of the matchup against No. 20 Florida, saying that he was ‘hopeful’ on all of the injury situations that face the Volunteers heading into Saturday.

“All those guys that were nicked up last week, those guys, we’re going to find out here in the next couple of days where they’re at and their availability for the game,” Heupel said. “Hopeful with all of them.”

Tillman went down in the first half against Akron and did not return. It’s been reported as a high ankle sprain for the star receiver, something that can linger for a while. Tennessee has a bye week following this game, but it remains to be seen whether or not the staff will let him play. At this point, it would be a surprise if he got the green light.

Other issues to monitor include running backs Jabari Small and Dylan Sampson. Small was a full go in practice on Tuesday and would seem ready to play. Sampson’s status remains unclear, which could force another true freshman, Justin Williams-Thomas, up a spot on the depth chart. Remember, Tennessee only has four scholarship running backs on the roster. Tight end Princeton Fant took some snaps on Tuesday as the emergence back.

Cornerbacks Warren Burrell and Dee Williams are also question marks.

Expect final answers sometime before the game on Saturday. CBS will have the coverage at 3:30 pm ET. College Gameday will be live on ESPN on campus at 9 am ET.