Notes and observations from the open portion of Tuesday’s practice, which was brought indoors by rainy weather.
Injuries/absences: Offensive lineman Coleman Thomas (legal) remains away from practice. Receiver Marquez North, running back Jalen Hurd and walk-on receiver Jaye Rochelle all practiced in a green, non-contact uniform.
Running back Alvin Kamara, coming off a huge scrimmage on Saturday, wasn’t in attendance during the open portion of practice. Butch Jones said he was sidelined with a bruised thigh, and should return Thursday or Saturday.
Circle of Life: As they often do, the Vols started practice with the Circle of Life drill. Jones called out junior tackle Dontavius Blair immediately to face defensive end LaTroy Lewis. It was a decent rep for Blair, who battled Lewis to a stalemate. Blair later got a chance to go against Dimarya Mixon in a one-on-one pass-blocking drill and had a great rep, completely stopping Mixon and directing him around the back of the pocket.
In other Circle of Life matchups, Brett Kendrick got the best of Mixon, and Josh Malone drove Stephen Griffin all the way out of the circle. There were a couple heavyweight battles of note, including Jack Jones vs. Shy Tuttle and Charles Mosley vs. Austin Sanders. Jones and Tuttle fought to a virtual tie for a few seconds before Tuttle eventually seemed to get the upper hand at the end as he slammed Jones to the ground. Sanders held his ground against Mosley momentarily, but Big Charles was just too big and he eventually moved him out of the circle.
One-on-ones: Tight end Ethan Wolf had the best play of one-on-one drills between WRs/TEs and DBs/LBs. Wolf, matched up against linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, broke to the corner of the end zone and stretched out to barely pull in what appeared to be a touchdown reception by just barely getting one foot in.
In the other two reps of the drill, Josh Malone (facing Malik Foreman) and Pig Howard (facing Cam Sutton) were not able to haul in receptions in the corner of the end zone on slightly overthrown passes.
2-point conversions: Jones let the team go live for four 2-point conversion attempts – two by the first-team offense and two by the second-team offense. The starting offense, facing the starting defense, converted both – one on a pass from Joshua Dobbs to Von Pearson. Dobbs took the second one in himself on a keeper.
The second-team offense, however, got stopped both times by the second-team defense. Jauan Jennings and Quinten Dormady each got one rep with the 2s and were both stopped (tagged up since the QBs aren’t live) before they could reach the end zone.