After a couple missed practices and various reports about the health of Tennessee redshirt starting senior guard Marcus Jackson, Butch Jones spoke to the media on Tuesday morning and confirmed the severity of his injury, which is reportedly a torn bicep (though Jones wouldn’t confirm that).
“Marcus – there’s no timetable set,” Jones said. “It could be the season, it could be eight months, it could be nine months, it’s really based on how his surgery comes and how his body performs. You talk about unselfishness – Jashon Robertson came and he wants to wear (number) 75. That’s the type of culture that is built here. That’s the way our players are starting to think right now. We’ve got to work through Nike to see if we can make that happen.”
Jones was later asked to clarify Jackson’s timetable, and if he has a shot to return in the 2015 season or not.
“If he has any opportunity of returning, it would probably be towards the tail end of the season to the bowl game,” he said.
Jones generally downplayed the injuries of the rest of the 15 or so players who weren’t on Haslam Practice Field on Tuesday morning, saying “we’ve got a lot of bumps and bruises and that’s pretty typical in training camp, and saying that he was looking forward to some of the players who would get extra reps in their absences.
“The way I look at it is, it’s a tremendous opportunity for the next person in,” Jones said. “Now their reps increase, and now you have more of an opportunity to put your football identity on video, on film, and be able to take advantage of it. When one man is down, it’s another man’s opportunity and that’s how you build depth, but we do need to get those individuals back and they’ve done a great job in the training room so far.”
None of the missing players seem to be in danger of missing the start of the season, with Jones saying that most guys would return to the practice field within a day or two and no longer than a little over a week. He didn’t give specifics on each player out, but here’s who he did comment on:
Chance Hall and Dylan Wiesman: “Nothing that will be serious. We expect them to be back either tonight or tomorrow.”
Kendal Vickers: “Kendal was out there doing a little bit.”
Evan Berry: “We expect Evan to be back probably in about a week or so.”
Max Arnold: “It’s great to see Max Arnold back practicing right now, but he will be limited, we’re taking some precautionary measures.”
Jashon Robertson: “Jashon Robertson hasn’t practiced, he has an ankle sprain, but he should be good to go in the next day or two.”
Justin Martin: “Same thing, we have so many of them, it’s easy to miss a few, but I expect Justin Martin back probably in about a week, week and a half, he just has a knee sprain.”
Pig Howard and Ethan Wolf: “Yeah, it’s nicks and pains and bruises, and you know, Pig tweeked his hamstring a little bit, but we expect to get him back, and same thing with Ethan, he’s making great progress in getting back.”