Vols practice Saturday in Neyland, number of players missing

Pruitt says fewer than ten players are actively positive for COVID-19
Published: Sep. 5, 2020 at 4:56 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2020 at 5:31 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee’s scheduled scrimmage was postponed Saturday due to a high number of players who were unable to practice.

Head coach Jeremy Pruitt said in all 44 players didn’t hit the field at Neyland Stadium, and that most were due to contact tracing.

The third-year head coach said during a post-practice press conference he wasn’t sure the exact number of active cases on the team, but that “seven or eight” players are quarantining for positive tests, while nearly 30 are in isolation due to close-contact exposure with a positive case.

Pruitt clarified that some players missed practice due to minor injuries and that not all absences were COVID-related.

The Vols are scheduled to kick off the 2020 season in exactly three weeks.

Teams are allowed 25 practices ahead of the start of the season, but Pruitt said he doesn’t expect his team to be able to do so.

“It’s been very tough to be able to get our team ready to play. We get 25 practices and we’ll end up practicing probably 20 to 22 times,” said Pruitt.

Before the Southeastern Conference announced a switch to a conference-only, ten-game schedule, Tennessee was set to host Charlotte inside Neyland Stadium Saturday.

“I’m glad we’re not playing today,” Pruitt noted. “We’d have had a hard time beating anybody, so that might be a blessing in itself.”

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