Some notes and observations from the open portion of Tennessee’s practice on Tuesday night.
Green team: A fairly elite trio of RB Jalen Hurd, RB Alvin Kamara and WR Josh Malone were all in green, non-contact uniforms on Tuesday evening. Obviously all three looked fine on Saturday and have all been in non-contact jerseys in past weeks as well. It doesn’t look like there’s any major concern with any of them at this point.
Kendrick’s return: Brett Kendrick was in uniform and at practice on Tuesday evening. Butch Jones didn’t have any updates on him during his Monday availability, but did say last week that, while he was out for the Kentucky game, he was optimistic that he would be back for the contest against South Carolina this coming weekend. Will he be healthy enough to get good practice reps in and push Chance Hall to regain his starting job at right tackle? It’s too early to say at this point, but that’s at least a positive sign that he’s back on the field. Kendrick, a redshirt sophomore who started the first five games of the season, hasn’t played since the Arkansas game on Oct. 3.
Position switch: As the Vols look for more depth at a depleted wide receiver group, former running back Ralph David Abernathy IV, a graduate transfer from Cincinnati who has one kickoff return for 19 yards this year, got reps with the WRs on Tuesday. The 5-foot-6, 185-pound older brother of freshman cornerback Micah Abernathy, played for Jones at Cincinnati in a versatile capacity – putting up big numbers as a wide receiver, running back and return man. The Vols have been without WR Preston Williams for two games, WR Marquez North, who was on the practice field Tuesday, continues to be limited and WR Jason Croom (knee), appears to still be at least a couple weeks away from returning.
WR Pig Howard was kicked off the team earlier in the year and freshman WR Vincent Perry was lost for the season with a knee injury in the preseason.
More stripes off: Freshman running backs Joseph Young and John Kelly have had their stripes removed since we’ve last seen them in practice. Kelly has 31 carries for 146 yards so far this year, while Young has 11 for 29. Both have contributed on special teams as well.