Injury update: RB Jalen Hurd, WR Josh Malone and WR Marquez North were all in green, non-contact jerseys. Hurd didn’t seem to have any ill-effects from his shoulder issue and wasn’t wearing a visible brace, though the team wasn’t going through full-contact drills and he could’ve had one that wasn’t visible under his pads. Malone and North looked fine, that’s more precautionary than any concern about them missing time.
RB Devrin Young wasn’t at practice and neither was WR Josh Smith. RB Marlin Lane was in a normal practice jersey and going through drills, though his left ankle was heavily taped and he wasn’t moving too well yet. Still, Butch Jones said on Monday that he expects Lane to play on Saturday. OT Jacob Gilliam remains a full participant at practice with a brace on his left knee wear he tore his ACL. Jones said recently that he believes Gilliam will be able to help the team this year in some capacity. WR Von Pearson again practiced with a brace on his ankle, though he continues to look more and more comfortable and should see his workload expand going forward.
Drills: The quarterbacks and running backs worked together on various routes out of the backfield as Tennessee continues to look for more ways to get the ball in their hands creatively since the traditional run game has struggled. The receivers worked on getting off the line of scrimmage and Butch Jones had a message for Vic Wharton, telling him to “earn the trust.” Wharton caught his first career pass on Saturday and continues to be on the outside looking in of the main receiver rotation, though the coaches would like to get him more early reps. The offensive line worked on their pass sets and did some drills that helped with communication on various blitzes as they expect Ole Miss to bring a variety of types of pressure on Saturday.
Punt retuners: Cam Sutton, Jacob Carter, Jalen Hurd, Vic Wharton, Josh Malone and Marlin Lane were all getting reps at punt returner and they worked on knowing when to field rolling balls as opposed to when to leave them alone.
Simulating Ole Miss: The scout team wore blue jerseys to simulate Ole Miss and backup quarterback Mike Wegzyn is playing the role of Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace this week. Walk-on transfer Adrian Gamble is simulating Rebels’ star receiver Laquon Treadwell, who has 415 yards of receiving and four touchdowns on the year.
Here is a link to today’s Defensive Notes and Observations.