A few notes of interest
• Butch Jones said receiver Josh Smith is “questionable” for the Ohio game this week after tweaking his ankle in practice on Tuesday. Jones said freshman Tyler Byrd, who got his first career touch in the Virginia Tech game, will be in line for more work if Smith can’t play.
“If Josh can’t go, right now, Tyler would be one of the individuals that would step in,” Jones said, also noting that he’s hoping Smith will be able to practice on Wednesday. “But it’s still relatively early in the week.”
• Defensive end Kyle Phillips has been battling a high ankle sprain, Jones said, but he expects him to have a larger role this week with LaTroy Lewis out.
• Safety/returner Evan Berry is expected to play, per Jones. Colton Jumper will start at inside linebacker in place of Darrin Kirkland, though Dillon Bates and Gavin Bryant have also had good weeks in practice.
• Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, cornerback Marquill Osborne and defensive lineman Jonathan Kongbo have all had their helmet stripes removed.
• Jones, as several coaches around the nation have been, was asked about Colin Kaepernick/National Anthem protests. He took a relatively safe approach – saying he had personal opinions about it and respected the protests, but hasn’t thought about how he would approach that with his players since they are not on the field for the National Anthem.