8 Vols to miss spring football practice with injuries – Knoxville News Sentinel

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Eight players will not participate in spring practice for the University of Tennessee football team because of injuries.

UT coach Butch Jones said Monday defensive backs Micah Abernathy and Rashaan Gaulden, defensive linemen Kyle Phillips, Kendal Vickers and Shy Tuttle, wide receivers Josh Smith and Brandon Johnson and offensive lineman Brett Kendrick will be sidelined this spring.

The Vols open the first of 15 spring practices on Tuesday. UT is scheduled to practice every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, concluding with the Orange and White Game on April 22 (TV: SEC Network, 4 p.m. EDT) at Neyland Stadium.

“We have them in an intense recovery program, and also from a mental standpoint and the mental repetitions for them are going to be paramount moving forward,” Jones said. “We have them on their own development schedule when we start tomorrow.”

Kongbo to ‘Solely Focus’ on End: Jones said redshirt junior Jonathan Kongbo will move back to defensive end after spending some time at defensive tackle last season because of injuries.

“I think the experience he gained at having to move inside will really benefit him,” Jones said. “It allows us some flexibility within our defensive schemes to be able to move him around. It’s finding the right 11 to put on the field, whether it’s offense, defense or special teams, that give you an opportunity to win. But he’s going to play mainly defensive end.”

No major position changes are expected during the spring, although Jones said it could change once practices begin.

More on spring practice:

Mike Strange: New staff, spring challenges for Tennessee football

Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano spends spring break with QB guru

5 things to watch as Vols open spring practice

Tennessee football releases spring practice schedule

2017 Tennessee spring football practice dates

Tuesday, March 21 – Practice #1

Thursday, March 23 – Practice #2

Saturday, March 25 – Practice #3

Tuesday, March 28 – Practice #4

Thursday, March 30 – Practice #5

Saturday, April 1 – Practice #6

Tuesday, April 4 – Practice #7

Thursday, April 6 – Practice #8

Saturday, April 8 – Practice #9

Tuesday, April 11 – Practice #10

Thursday, April 13 – Practice #11

Saturday, April 15 – Practice #12

Tuesday, April 18 – Practice #13

Thursday, April 20 – Practice #14

Saturday, April 22 – Practice #15 (Orange & White Game)