Tennessee wide receiver coach Frank Wilson is starting to smile a little more, especially the last few days.
The injury bug has taken a toll on Wilson's troops, with the return of Denarius Moore; things are starting to get a little better.
"We are excited to have him back," Wilson said Monday. "We threw him in for a couple of plays against Western Kentucky to get him going again. This week we will see how he does physically and mentally and that will determine how we use him this week."
Moore is also happy about his earlier than expected return to the playing field.
"I feel that I'm ahead in the playbook aspect of my progress," Moore said. "Now I just have to work on my conditioning, it's great to be back."
When did Moore realize he might be able to make an early return to action?
"Last Tuesday when I started running routes," Moore said. "Everything just felt right. "I'm glad to get a little playing time Saturday to get ready for UCLA."
Moore has been one of several wide outs that have missed action in fall camp. Austin Rogers ended his season before it got started with a knee injury earlier in the summer.
Gerald Jones appears to be recuperating faster than expected from a high ankle sprain he suffered in a fall camp scrimmage.
Wilson hasn't made any excuses for the lack of depth at his position; instead the veteran coach has used the adversity to make his group stronger.
"It has brought us together as a group, and as a team," Wilson said. "Instead of making it a negative, it's given an opportunity for some of our younger plays to step up and make plays. This situation will end up making us stronger as a unit and stronger as a team."
Ten different receivers caught balls against Western Kentucky.
"I thought we did well as a group," Wilson said. "We have a long ways to go, but we are getting better every day."