Brad Cottam is out 2-3 months

Tennessee's plan to pair seniors Chris Brown and Brad Cottam in two-tight end sets this fall has hit a snag. Cottam is out two to three months due to injury.

Cottam will be sidelined until at least late October after hurting his left wrist during Tuesday's full-scale scrimmage. The 6-8, 260-pounder redshirted as a UT freshman in 2003, so that is not an option.

Twenty-one plays into Tuesday's workout Cottam got behind the defense and went up to haul in a potential 33-yard touchdown pass from Erik Ainge. He bobbled the ball on the way down and landed awkwardly while trying to regain control, injuring his wrist in the process.

According to a UT release, Cottam underwent successful surgery Tuesday night at UT Medical Center and was to be released from the hospital sometime today.

Brad Cottam is the second Vol - and second tight end - to sustain a major injury this preseason. Senior David Holbert suffered a torn ACL during the first week of preseason drills and is out for the year.

With Cottam and Holbert out of the picture, Tennessee's tight end corps consists of the afore-mentioned Chris Brown, sophomore Jeff Cottam (Brad's younger brother), redshirt freshman Luke Stocker and true freshman Kevin Cooper.

Brown caught 31 passes last fall for 239 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Cottam played but did not record a catch. Stocker was withheld to preserve the year of eligibility.

Tuesday's injury is the latest in a series of health problems to plague Brad Cottam since his arrival at UT four years ago. He appeared on the verge of a breakout year in 2007, however, following a strong finish in 2006.

After going the first four games of '06 without a reception, he moved into the starting lineup for Game 5 at Memphis. He reeled in 14 passes over the season's final nine games and averaged an imposing 13.0 yards per catch. His best game came against Vanderbilt, when he registered three receptions for 53 yards, including a career-best 45-yard grab.

A three-time Academic All-SEC honoree, Cottam graduated last spring with a degree in business studies. He is currently working on his master's in sport studies.


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