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Josh Heupel Discusses Hendon Hooker Injury, Vols QB Situation

Tennessee Head Coach Josh Heupel provides an update on Hendon Hooker, Joe Milton III and QB situation ahead of Missouri.
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Josh Heupel said last week before traveling south to Gainesville that he intended to only play one quarterback, and for 95% of Saturday night's contest, he did just that, until Hendon Hooker left the game after getting rocked on an attempted flea flicker. Insert Joe Milton for the concluding minutes of Florida's 38-14 victory over the Vols. During his Monday press conference, Heupel briefly addressed the status of Hooker and the possibility of how it will work out moving forward. 

"There were multiple guys that had injuries or got nicked up during the course of the ball game the other night," Heupel said on Monday afternoon. "Don't know where those guys are at. Hendon (Hooker) at quarterback, not sure if he'll be available or not, so we'll see how that transpires here during the course of the week and go from there." 

Hooker to a massive shot trying to get the pass off, but Heupel did update on if he was in concussion protocol."

He is not in concussion protocol, currently," the Tennessee Head Coach stated. 

Prior to leaving the game, Hooker was 13-23 for 221 yards and two touchdowns through the air, while he added another 23 yards on the ground. One of Hooker's passes was a deep ball to JaVonta Payton, which was a relief for the Vols who have struggled to hit wide open receivers this year. 

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"One positive from the other night, right," Heupel said about this. "We got somebody behind somebody and actually connected on it. That was a positive, huge play in the early part of the football game."

After Hooker's injury, Milton III was not stellar in relief of the injured signal-caller, as he once again struggled to complete passes down the field, finishing the day 2-8 for 54 yards. However, Milton had not played since an injury sustained in the matchup against Pitt two weeks before, and he was not 100 percent on Saturday night, according to Heupel. 

"Joe was in a situation where he could play, (but) wasn't at full 100 percent," Heupel said.  "During the week, we got him some work, but not at the same type of numbers that he would've gotten if he was 100 percent. Anticipate just through him playing the other night, he didn't re-injure or aggravate anything. Continue to think that he'll get healthier as this week goes on." 

So what does this mean for the quarterback spot if Hooker is unable to go and Milton remains not at 100 percent ahead of Saturday's contest against Missouri. 

"I am not going to speak to situations that are not real at this point." Heupel said. "We will see where we are at during the course of the week and go from there."