Tennessee scraps scrimmage with 44 Vols out

Sports

The Volunteers decided to hold a normal practice instead

FILE – In this Sept. 14, 2019, file photo, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt yells to his players during an NCAA college football game against Chattanooga in Knoxville, Tenn. Pruitt said he canceled Friday’s practice for No. 25 Tennessee due to a “few more positive” test results and Saturday night’s practice also could be canceled depending on the results after everyone in the program was tested Friday morning. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt says he had to turn a scheduled scrimmage into a regular practice Saturday because 44 players could not practice.

Pruitt says those players hadn’t been at the last three or four practices, and the Vols were left with only 30 offensive players. That forced coaches to focus on two groups in situational work.

Of the 44 Volunteers who did not practice, Pruitt says seven or eight of those are active COVID-19 cases. Three players are dealing with injuries or surgeries. Pruitt says approximately 27 or 28 are in quarantine.

Pruitt says Tennessee has had 48 players who have missed at least 14 days due to quarantine, with four quarantined twice. Some self-reported, and Pruitt says one eventually tested positive for COVID. He says they are working through contract tracing.

Teams are allowed 25 practices, and Pruitt says Tennessee probably will end up with 20 or 22 practices barring a change over the next couple weeks. He says they’re learning as they go and it’s been tough to prepare a team to play.

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