KNOXVILLE — Tennessee kick returner and safety Evan Berry, wide receiver Latrell Williams and linebacker Austin Smith will sit out the Vols’ home game Saturday against Massachusetts because of injuries, coach Butch Jones said Wednesday.
“Those will be the three individuals that will definitely be out for this football game,” Jones said during his weekly Wednesday press conference.
Jones said sophomore cornerback Baylen Buchanan also will be available for Saturday’s game, although it’s still not clear whether he will play against the Minutemen (0-4).
Berry, Tennessee’s standout kick returner, has sat out the past two games because of his injury. Freshman running back Ty Chandler and junior safety Micah Abernathy have served as the Vols’ primary kick returners in Berry’s absence.
Williams, a redshirt freshman who made his Tennessee debut Sept. 4 in the Vols’ season opener over Georgia Tech, and Buchanan also have missed the past two games.
Buchanan was carted off with an ankle injury during the Vols’ 42-41 win over the Yellow Jackets and hasn’t played since then, but Jones said Tennessee “got some great news today” regarding Buchanan’s chances of being back this week. He wore a green, non-contact jersey during the Vols’ practice Tuesday afternoon.
“Buchanan is going to be available, and Baylen has done a really good job of getting himself back ready to go, so we’ll see how he looks today in practice and all that,” Jones said.
“But really like the way he ran around and did some things yesterday in practice, so we’re excited to work to get him going.”
Jones said freshman defensive end Deandre Johnson also is “questionable to probable” for Saturday’s game after suffering an apparent shoulder injury Saturday during Tennessee’s 26-20 loss at rival Florida.
“Right now, he’s going to be available,” Jones said of Johnson. “He’s going to practice today. He practiced a little bit (Tuesday) and has done a good job in terms of the recovery part of that. I’ll know a little bit more (than I do) right now, but in meeting with our trainers, he’s questionable to probable right now.”