Tennessee has dealt with a rash of injuries the last two seasons. Some of the Vols’ best players have gone down for extended periods of time over the last couple seasons, and it had major adverse effects on the team.
And apparently that bad injury luck didn’t stop with the previous coaching staff.
According to a report from 247Sports, Tennessee star offensive tackle Trey Smith will miss at least a portion of the Vols’ spring practices as he tends to “a medical issue.” There isn’t a specific timetable for his return, and the medical issue itself isn’t specified.
While 247Sports didn’t go into great detail, Trey Wallace of The Read Optional provided a few more notes on the situation, stating that Smith first discovered this issue during a recent workout. He also added that he believes Smith will miss all of spring but hopes to be back before fall camp.
Tennessee OL & 2017 Freshman All-American Trey Smith will miss spring practice as he deals with a medical issue that was first discovered after symptoms arose during a recent workout. While he hopes to return for fall camp, it will depend on continued medical testing.
— Trey Wallace (@TreyW_SEC) February 25, 2018
Many fans blamed a lot of the injuries Tennessee sustained the last couple seasons on the Vols’ strength and conditioning program under Butch Jones. It would be hasty to place blame on the new strength and conditioning program for Smith’s injury, however.
Smith was easily the Vols’ most consistent and best performer on offense last season. He earned multiple All-SEC and Freshman All-American honors for the work he did in 2017, and he was the only offensive lineman on the roster to start all 12 games for Tennessee. He played guard for most of the season, but he had to start at tackle for the last three games of the year because of injuries at the position. He performed well at both spots and lived up to his five-star billing in his first year on campus.
Missing spring practice is one thing, but if Smith has to miss any time beyond that, then the Vols could be in trouble.
We will update as more information becomes available.