Tennessee running back Jabari Small was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice according to running back’s coach Jerry Mack.
“Everybody was out there today,” Mack said. “Full speed, full go. Guys look really good. Just got to be smart with how we rep them. Some of those injuries, some of those things that happened in the game was just bumps and bruises, wear-and-tear over the course of the game.”
Not only was Small on the practice field Tuesday but the junior running back was a full participant with the Vols not having to limit his workload.
“He was able to do everything,” Mack said. “He finished the the entire practice — 21/22 periods we had. He did every part of practice. We didn’t have to limit him from a standpoint of his health it was more if us being smart with the workload, and that’s no different than what we normally do over the course of the week. We’e always monitoring those guys workload with our GPS system we have on those guys to make sure that we’re not overworking them so he can be prepared.”
Small exited the Akron game after suffering an injury on the second play from scrimmage. The Memphis native came to the sideline with an apparent upper body injury before quickly exiting the Vols medical tent and spending the rest of the game dressed out on the sideline.
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Shoulder injuries plagued Small a season ago. The 5-foot-11 tailback didn’t miss any games with an injury but frequently exited them and didn’t finish them due to the injury.
Tennessee hasn’t specified what injury kept Small from returning to the game against Akron.
Small’s rushed for 94 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries this season. As a sophomore, Small rushed for 792 yards and nine touchdowns despite battling the shoulder injury.
Back up running back Jaylen Wright is Tennessee’s leading rusher on the season, tallying 231 yards and three touchdowns on 45 carries.
Mack shared that freshman running back Dylan Sampson was also a participant at practice after suffering a minor injury in the second half of the Akron game. The Vols’ lack running back depth and have just four scholarship running backs healthy.
With the lack of depth and a few key runners banged up, Mack said tight end Princeton Fant earned some reps at running back during Tuesday’s practice
“Right now, as an emergency guy, P(rinceton) Fant did a good job today taking some reps in the backfield for us,” Mack said.
Kick off between the Vols and Gators is at 3:30 p.m. ET. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Jenny Dell are on the call for the CBS Game of the Week.