Tennessee, mired in a four-game losing streak, continues to be plagued by injuries.
Starting strong safety Brent Brewer tore his ACL in the Saturday's 14-3 loss to South Carolina and will miss the remainder of the season. The Vols are extremely thin at safety, meaning Prentiss Waggner will have to move back to free safety from cornerback. Waggner had provided some stability at cornerback, which is his natural position, but Tennessee doesn't have a lot of options at safety with Brewer out. Freshman Brian Randolph will shift to strong safety from free safety.
With Waggner needed at safety, that means the Vols will have to turn to either junior Marsalis Teague or freshman Justin Coleman at one of the cornerback spots. Both players have struggled this season in coverage, which is the reason they were no longer starting.
Waggner had an interception last week against South Carolina and nearly returned it for a touchdown. It was the first interception by a Tennessee defensive back since the season opener against Montana.
The Vols were already without quarterback Tyler Bray and receiver Justin Hunter. There's a chance they may get Bray back for one or both of the final two regular-season games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky. He's still recovering from a broken thumb.
Freshman linebacker Curt Maggitt is expected to return this weekend against Middle Tennessee after missing the South Carolina game with a calf injury.