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Josh Heupel Provides Update on Hendon Hooker, Cade Mays Injuries

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Tennessee fell to Ole Miss 31-26 on Saturday after a hard-fought game that featured some of the wildest twists in recent memory. A pretty apparent blown call took an early touchdown off the board for the Vols, after the Vols stood Matt Corral up, stripped the ball out, and returned it for a touchdown. Still, after falling down 24-9, Tennessee battled back and had two late chances to drive for the lead late in the game, but was unable to make it happen, which also featured part of the madness.

However, with games like this typically comes injury, and this game featured more than its fair share of players getting helped off the field. In fact, there may not be a game that has more injured players down on the field this season, and while Tennessee fans believe that Ole Miss's injuries were more of a strategy from Lane Kiffin, two injuries that were clear and evident were detrimental to the Vols.

Early in the contest, Cade Mays went down on the field, writhing in pain with an apparent right leg injury, and he did not return, although, he did leave the bench to ride the exercise bike at one point. Following the game, Josh Heupel provided an optimistic update on Mays.

"Don’t know on Cade yet," Heupel said. "He was moving around in the locker room tonight. He’s really disappointed. As somebody that’s grown up here, he said he’s been to a lot of football games here inside of the stadium, said that’s the most energetic and juicy atmosphere he’s ever seen, and really disappointed that he only got three plays. I would assume that he’s going to be ready to play for the next one.”

The Vols went to former walk-on Dayne Davis to replace Mays, and while Davis did have some bright spots, he struggled at times. Tennessee will face the best edge rusher in America next weekend at Alabama in Will Anderson, so they will be hoping to have Mays back.

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Elsewhere, with just seconds left in the game, Tennessee lost Hendon Hooker on a scramble where he was tackled from behind while trying to get down. Hooker stayed on the field after trying to get up but not being able to bear weight on his right leg."

“No update on Hendon at this point,” Heupel said. “Too early. We’ll find out as the weekend unfolds here tomorrow.”

After Hooker left, Tennessee had four plays remaining and turned to Joe Milton III, who got the Vols down inside the 20-yard line before making one of the most perplexing decisions to run out of bounds with no time left on the clock.

Following the game, Heupel commented on this as well.

“I mean, yeah, I think everybody here would say the same thing, say you want to put the ball in the end zone.”

Tennessee heads to Tuscaloosa next weekend, and if Hooker is unable to go, Heupel will likely hand the reins back to Milton III, who won the starting job in fall camp. Tennessee offense has looked drastically different with Hooker behind center, so it will be interesting to see how Josh Heupel adjusts, if Hooker is unable to bounce back quickly.