Low on players, Tennessee calls off scrimmage

Field Level Media

September 05, 2020 at 8:22 pm.

Tennessee called off plans to hold a scrimmage Saturday because 44 players were unavailable because of either a positive COVID-19 test, contact with somebody who tested positive, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

According to head coach Jeremy Pruitt, as many as eight players have tested positive for COVID-19. There are at least 24 more who are in quarantine because of contact-tracing protocol. A handful of players are out because of injury.

“I think our guys are trying to do the right thing,” Pruitt said, according to the News Sentinel. “They’re aware of it. You know, if somebody that you live with (tests positive), you’re in quarantine. In our county, that’s the way it is. It might be like that everywhere. We’ve had some of that.

“But I don’t think it’s something to where our players are not being responsible. I definitely don’t think that.”

Instead of putting his team through a game-like setting, Pruitt elected to hold a traditional practice with his remaining players. Reports indicated the Volunteers were without 31 players on offense.

Under the original 2020 schedule, the Vols were expected to open the season at home Saturday against Charlotte. Under the new schedule, created after the COVID-19 pandemic, Tennessee is now scheduled to open its season Sept. 26 against South Carolina.