Tennessee receiver Cedric Tillman is reportedly out for Saturday’s SEC opener against Florida, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel.
Tillman suffered an injury in the first half of last week’s win over Akron. Josh Heupel was “hopeful” the All-SEC receiver would play when he met with the media Thursday. However, the second year coach was coy about Tillman’s availability at practice this week.
The redshirt senior receiver has 17 catches for 246 yards and a touchdown this season including a nine catch, 162 yard performance in the Vols’ overtime win at Pitt.
Tillman has been a big game receiver for Tennessee since Josh Heupel’s arrived on campus. In the Vols last five games against ranked opponents Tillman’s totaled 677 yards and five touchdowns.
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The Las Vegas native has become Hendon Hooker’s go-to receiver and security blanket. Where do the Vols turn without their go-to receiver?
Starting receivers Bru McCoy and Jalin Hyatt will certainly see more targets with Tillman sidelined while there’s a number of players who could earn the senior’s snaps.
Jimmy Holiday, Ramel Keyton and Walker Merrill all have earned snaps at the outside receiver spot this season. The Vols could also play Hyatt out wide and give snaps to freshman Squirrel White or junior Jimmy Calloway in the slot. Calloway is suspended for the first half of the game which could lessen that likelihood.
Kick off between Tennessee and Florida is at 3:30 p.m. ET. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Jenny Dell are on the call for CBS.