Monday Afternoon Practice Report

The Vols came out on Monday well aware of the potential threat the Arkansas Razorbacks will bring. Tennessee coaches came out and tried to plug the holes for the injured, which is a category that continues to grow each game.

Cedric Houston had surgery today on his left thumb. The surgery was to repair some tendon damage. I speculated earlier today that Ced's time out could range from 4 to 10 weeks. Well I was completely wrong. Houston will go without contact for 10 days. After that 10-day period, he will wear a soft cast, similar to the one Donte Stallworth sported last season when he returned from his wrist injury.

As for practice, Coach Fulmer was very involved with his offense and the work they did on short yardage situations. Mondays are usually reserved for work on Orange Zone improvements by the offense.

On the defensive side of the ball, the linebacking situation was somewhat on hold for one day. Eddie Moore has a class on Monday afternoons and was not at practice to see what the new linebacking rotation would have to be with Kevin Simon out for the remainder of the year with a fractured ankle. It appears that Keyon Whiteside will rotate to the weakside backer position with Robert Peace rolling into the starting middle linebacker role.

Gerald Riggs saw an increase in snap repetitions on Monday. With Houston being unavailable for play, Riggs may be looked upon to pick up where Cedric left off. The only flaw holding Riggs back has been his inability to pass block. Coach Fulmer said on Monday Gerald had improved, but still has to keep on working to get better at protecting the quarterback. "We worked with a bunch of young players today," Fulmer said following practice. "Certainly they all have some improving to do."

Coach Fulmer said that Kevin Simon(ankle) and Kevin Burnett(knee) will tenatively both have surgery on Wednesday. Their individual rehab processes will obviously be different, but Fulmer said the two will work together for the most part.

Karlton Neal was back at practice on Monday after an off-and-on week in Rutgers preparations. Coach Fulmer said Neal was going to need surgery on his knee and coach said he was hoping for a Wednesday surgery. Karlton's time out is not certain at this point.

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