This is the third consecutive week that the Wildcats will be without Wilson, who sustained a shoulder injury in Kentucky's win over Ole Miss on Nov. 5. Neloms, who didn't play last week at Georgia, will sit Saturday after sustaining an ankle injury late in the Vanderbilt game Nov. 12.
Kentucky and Phillips did receive good news on the injury front Wednesday as quarterback Maxwell Smith and Morgan Newton both practiced.
"Both of them got reps today," Phillips said. "Yesterday, Morgan was the only one that got reps and today both of them got reps. We will see how it goes tomorrow … We think Max has a better chance than Morgan because of the type of injury."
Coming off an impressive defensive performance last week at Georgia, Phillips is hoping for more of the same this week against Tennessee although the Volunteers have a different offensive attack. Phillips said overall the UK defense has played well against "downhill" offenses like LSU and Georgia, but Tennessee tries to run in space.
"Tennessee tries to get you in space and that has been one of our issues, when teams try to get us in space," Phillips said. "If you have seen us play and the score probably doesn't show it, but LSU is more of a downhill running team and we did fairly well against those guys. We have had our problems with teams out in space."
Phillips said the key is to try to put pressure on the quarterback.
"We have to try to get pressure on him (Tyler Bray) and not let him get comfortable back there," Phillips said. "Last year, we did that but he still made plays against us. He is a tough kid, there is no doubt about that and he is probably tougher now given what he went through with his thumb. He got knocked around last week and still got up and performed well. We have to try to get pressure on him and cover their receivers."
Kentucky will return to practice Thursday morning to complete its preparation for the Volunteers.