Kelley may play, after all

Vol receiver Kelley Washington's status for this Saturday's game with Middle Tennessee State University is like the weather ... always changing.

Listed as ''out'' due to a knee sprain on a Monday morning UT news release, Washington was upgraded to ''doubtful'' by Tuesday morning. In his Tuesday afternoon news conference, head coach Phillip Fulmer said the sophomore receiver's status for the MTSU game will be a ''gametime'' decision. (Translation: We won't know until shortly after kickoff if Washington is going to play or not.)

Tennessee's other wideouts ''stepped up'' vs. MTSU. Tony Brown recorded seven catches for 77 yards, Jomo Fagan caught a TD pass, C.J. Fayton and Montrell Jones had their moments and freshman Chris Hannon made a couple of catches. Fulmer chuckled as he discussed a group of young receivers that he described as ''a cross between the Little Rascals and the Bad News Bears.''

Although pleased with the other wideouts and confident Washington's knee is progressing, Fulmer said he won't scrap plans to give safeties Rashad Baker and Mark Jones some snaps at receiver.

''Not yet,'' he said. ''We're going to continue to work it ... probably for the season. We're short-handed there for what we'd like to be able to do. Both of those kids are dynamic guys who can give you a play here and there. I think we're probably going to have to do that all year.''

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