Monday Afternoon Practice Report

Tennessee took their offweek to heal from bumps and bruises that were suffered against the MTSU Blue Raiders. Today they were suited up and preparing for the Florida Gators this coming Saturday.

Tennessee coaches seemed very pleased to see a few of the injured Vols return to practice. Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer says the offweek couldn't have come at a better time. "We were very fortunate to be off this past week. There are several guys that might possibly have not been able to play, that will have a chance to be in the ballgame."

Arguably the most important is wide receiver Kelley Washington. Washington, who has yet to make his presence felt this season, was back in pads on Monday. Washington practiced during the first half and iced his knee down for the last half of practice. It is very unlikely that Washington doesn't play against Florida. He doesn't look to be completely recovered, but in a hard-hitting SEC season it is hard to be 100 percent all season.

Offensive lineman Chavis Smith was also back at practice for the first time in nearly a month. He is wearing braces on both knees, but he looked good running team drills. Smith should also be in the starting lineup on Saturday afternoon. Even if he doesn't start, he will see a good bit of action.

Jason Respert injured his shoulder in Thursday's practice and was still going slow today. Coach Fulmer said he fully expects Respert to be able to play on Saturday. In the event that Respert can't go, Sean Young may provide depth for Respert. With the injuries to Smith and Respert, Anthony Herrera has been taking snaps at center in case an injury were to happen to Scott Wells.

Freshman Greg Jones was also back in pads, but still had a soft cast on his left arm. He should be able to play on Saturday, should the need arise.

The Vols finished practice with conditioning drills. The runningbacks always run in the sand pit to finish up. As I stood and watched Cedric Houston finishup his last lap, he was drenched in sweat and breathing very heavy as he tried to cool down after finishing. He looked up, smiled at me and said, "The Gators are coming to town right?" I nodded yes. No sooner than I noddes, Houston darted off faster than before as he went an extra two laps. Yeah Cedric the Gators are coming to town. I heard that they thought you were too slow to beat them... prove 'em wrong.

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