Tennessee will be without an offensive tackle for the second consecutive week on Saturday against Indiana State.
Marcus Tatum, who started for the Vols at right tackle with starting starting left tackle Drew Richmond suspended for violating team rules, will miss Saturday’s game due to an unspecified injury, head coach Butch Jones announced following Thursday’s practice.
“The one individual who will be out is Marcus Tatum,” Jones said, “so Marcus will be out for this game.”
Tatum made his first career start on Monday against Georgia Tech and, despite leaving the game briefly during the third quarter, finished playing through the double-overtime win. Offensive coordinator Larry Scott was pretty complimentary of the big man and it sounds like he will be missed.
“He played really well. Marcus did some good things. We’re always as coaches naturally we’re going to look at the things that we’ve got to get better at and dissect, especially on a short week like this. You’ve got a quick turnaround, and it’s really about how do we improve and how do we get better.
“But Marcus did some really good things playing as many snaps as he did. He kind of got leg-whipped there in the game and came out and then went over and shook it off and came right back in, which is really good to see from him. He’s still a young kid. He’s big and talented and all those things, but he’s still young.
“To see that kind of mental toughness to get right back in there and want to go at that time of the game when the game was hinging and on the line was real good to see from him.”
However, the sophomore did not participate in practice all week.
With Richardson serving a one-game suspension and set to reclaim his position at left tacke, Tennessee will flip Brett Kendrick back to right tackle, where he was expected to start anyway even if Tatum was active.
Following Tatum’s injury against Georgia Tech, left guard Jack Jones was shifted to right tackle and Venzell Boulware took over at left guard. Jones and Coleman Thomas are expected to be the reserve options if anything happens to Richmond or Kendrick during Saturday’s game against Indiana State.