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Offensive Notes and Observations: 10/21

Team pic-1-11Some notes and observations from the offensive side of the ball from the open portion of Tennessee’s practice on Tuesday afternoon at Haslam Field…

Injury update: All eyes were looking for the offensive players who were injured in Saturday’s game against Ole Miss. Quarterback Justin Worley was at practice and didn’t show any noticeable ill-effects after he was pulled from the game against Ole Miss with a shoulder issue. The team didn’t go through any drills during the open portion that required Worley to make a forceful throw, so it’s hard to get a great read on if it’ll affect him against Alabama. All indications continue to be that he’ll play on Saturday at relatively close to 100%.

There was no sign of left guard Marcus Jackson or right tackle Coleman Thomas. Thomas’ absence isn’t a huge surprise. He’s been the bigger injury concern all along and Butch Jones admitted on Monday that he would need more time to figure out his exact status this week. Jackson, however, is more of a surprise. Jones said he expected Jackson to return to the practice field Monday and he wasn’t there on Tuesday, so that obviously throws some degree of doubt into his status.

There was no sign of wide receiver Josh Smith on the practice field. Jones said he expects him to start running again this week, but has classified him as a “long shot” to play against ‘Bama.

Offensive line thoughts: We didn’t see the starting five o-linemen working together during the open portion of practice, so it’s hard to say exactly what a lineup would like sans Jackson and Thomas.

But Brett Kendrick and Jacob Gilliam would both be in the conversation at tackle. Gilliam got his feet wet last week and was clearly not 100% in his first game back after tearing his ACL in the season opener. Kendrick works primarily at left tackle, so starting his there and flipping Kerbyson back to right tackle is a possibility as well. Austin Sanders appears to be the top reserve choice at guard, though Dylan Wiesman could be in the conversation as well.

Other notes:

 • AD Dave Hart was in attendance at practice.

• Walk-on wide receiver Adrian Gamble was wearing a No. 9 Alabama jersey to simulate Tide WR Amari Cooper.

Here’s the link to today’s Defensive Notes and Observations.

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