Tennessee receiver Cedric Tillman underwent a “tightrope” surgery on his ankle following the Vols’ win over Akron, ESPN’s Chris Low reported Thursday evening.
Tillman — a star redshirt senior receiver — exited the Akron game after being banged up on two separate plays. The Vols first 1,000 yard receiver since 2012 missed last week’s win over Florida with Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel expressing optimism Tilllman would soon be available.
“Obviously, we are a long way away from game time,” Heupel said earlier this week. “We are hopeful that he will continue to make progress and be available when we go down there (to LSU).”
The “tightrope” surgery, fully known as the Knotless Syndesmosis TightRope Implant System, helps players recover from high ankle sprains quicker.
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Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa twice underwent the surgery while in college. Tagovailoa first had the surgery in 2018 following the SEC Championship before returning four weeks later for the College Football Playoff semifinal.
In 2019, Tagovailoa suffered an ankle injury against Tennessee and underwent the surgery before returning to face LSU three weeks later.
Tennessee is off this week before traveling to LSU on Oct. 8 and facing No. 2 Alabama at home on Oct. 15. Tillman being available would be a huge boost for a strong Tennessee offense.
Tillman got off to a strong start to the 2022 season including a dominant nine catch, 162 yard and one touchdown performance against then-No. 17 Pitt.
The Vols are off to their best start since 2016 and have climbed to No. 8 in the AP poll— their highest ranking since 2006.