Rumors have floated around over the course of the long weekend about the health status of quarterback Joshua Dobbs after he took a vicious hit to the stomach on the final offensive play of the game against Appalachian State on Thursday evening.
Coach Butch Jones was asked about the rumor. He didn’t respond directly, but laughed and said that people who said that need to check their sources – indicating that Dobbs wasn’t injured.
Dobbs, who was made available to speak to the media on Monday, provided even more clarification.
“I’m fine and the play worked out in our favor,” said Dobbs, who went 16-of-29 for 192 yards, one touchdown and one interception on Thursday.
“We definitely did some good things,” Dobbs added in regards to the passing game against the Mountaineers. “At the end of the day, there are always things you can improve on”
• Injuries: Jones said there wasn’t much injury news to report coming out of the opener, and that he “anticipates everybody being available” for the Battle at Bristol on Saturday. He expects tight end Jason Croom to be at practice on Tuesday after missing the opener. Defensive tackles Shy Tuttle, Alexis Johnson and defensive ends Kyle Phillips, Darrell Taylor and Austin Smith were among the other players who did not participate against the Mountaineers.
• O-line: Jones did not rule out changes on the offensive line after a shaky performance from that bunch on Thursday.
“Every position they’re competing for and who has the best week of practice – we’re going to be challenged with a very disruptive front that causes communication problems,” he said. “We’re going to compete and what five individuals give us the best chance to win the game, those are the five that will start the game.”
• Missed tackles: Tennessee missed seven tackles, per Jones, who added that they aim for five or less in a game.
He said those missed tackles came “at inappropriate times,” and wants to see more defenders get to the football as well to aid in that area.