Volunteer Injuries Adding Up
With the smallest roster in the SEC finds Tennessee is getting thinner.
By: BE Coleman
Things are not going so well for Tennessee in preseason camp concerning the injury department.
The Vols have lost three players – one for the season and two for most of -- if not the full season.
Facing an already thin defensive front heading into the season now finds D-C Justin Wilcox and D-L Coach Chick Smith working to solve the dilemma.
The Vols lost senior D-End Ben Martin on day two of camp with an Achilles tear. “It looks like he’s going to be out for quite some time, anytime you lose a good player, it hurts," said H-C Derek Dooley. "It hurts your team.”
Fortunately the team does have some depth on the edge, albeit young. However, two practice days later the team saw another D-Lineman go down with a second Achilles injury. Coincidence?
D-Tackle Marlon Walls is expected to miss as much time as Martin. There was no word on what type of drills contributed to the multiple injuries of the same nature.
Dooley responded by saying, “Our Achilles heel so far has been our Achilles heel,” Dooley said. “Marlon, it looks like he’s going to be out for awhile with the same injury as Ben. So that’s too bad.
In an effort to shore up some badly needed depth, the coaching staff has moved senior Victor Thomas back to defense from offense. Thomas had been working as the team’s backup center.
“Injuries are a part of it and you adjust and move on," remarked Dooley. "It doesn’t mean you don’t hurt for the guys who are injured, but they’ll be fine."
It got worse for the team on day six of practice. Track and field speedster Evander Wells tore an ACL. Wells who had one year of football eligibility left was projected to bolster the return game.
Dooley said Wells could have factored into the Vols’ return game.
The Vols have asked another T&F player to join the team. Minor Bowens, a 6-3 300 lb. D-Lineman who had left last season due to differences with the coaching staff has returned.
Dooley joked about having to scour the campus next week when classes begin to look for players.
The Vols will hold a closed situational scrimmage today.
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