Tight end Bruce Figgins needs surgery, but Sunday he decided the procedure won't happen until after the season.
Figgins injured his shoulder last month against Arizona State, and although he is still eligible for a medical redshirt, he decided after Saturday's game that he felt good enough to finish out the year after discussing his options with trainers and tight ends coach John Lilly.
"I asked him how I looked on film, and he said I looked good," Figgins said. "I felt good after the game – a little sore, but no worse what I came in as. So I decided to roll with it and fight the rest of the season."
Of course, there's still the possibility that – despite the numerous pads and harnesses he's wearing – the injury could worsen and Figgins' season could still end early. If that happens, however, he said he won't have any regrets about his decision.
"Sunday I made my decision," Figgins said. "I said I was going to go with it, and I'm not thinking back about it. I decided I wouldn't have any regrets on the decision. I'm not looking back. Coaches have faith in me. They're not holding back nothing, I'm not holding back practicing. I'm going about it as nothing's wrong with me."
"I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't but I'm all about what's the plan, what's the scheme and winning games," Figgins said. "If that's for me blocking, I'm blocking. If it's for me in the passing game, I'm gonna catch it."
After playing his first offensive snaps of the season Saturday, Southerland said he didn't feel any significant after effects of the foot injury that required two surgeries and cost him the first four games of the season.
"Doctors say we're gonna get some stiffness and soreness early on, so it was as expected Sunday when I woke up, nothing shocking," he said.
Southerland had just one carry against the Volunteers, but he made the most of it – getting into the end zone on a 1-yard run. The return to the end zone – and to the offense – was a long awaited gift for the senior fullback.
"It was an incredible feeling being out there, just getting back out there and feeling like my old self," Southerland said.
Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe did not wear pads and was clad in a green non-contact jersey at Monday's practice, but Dent said he expected the preseason All-SEC selection to be out on the field Saturday against Vanderbilt. "He's still in the green jersey and everything," Dent said, "but he looked pretty good. I think he'll be back."… Vanderbilt announced Monday that quarterback Mackenzi Adams will start Saturday's game over Chris Nickson, who had started the team's first six games.