Tennessee has at least one quarterback in quarantine due to contact tracing, and Jeremy Pruitt has yet to reveal who it is. We can confidently confirm that it is not Harrison Bailey, and that he has been receiving a lot of reps over the last two weeks.
Pruitt said about the contact tracing situation on Monday, "We've had one quarterback that's been affected. Listen, the whole part of it is I've tried to be as transparent as we can with it. We can't say exactly who, but these guys that are out there practicing, they are working hard to create chemistry with our guys, so we'll continue to do that this week."
During today's SEC teleconference, Pruitt was asked if he planned to go with Bailey on Saturday. He said, "Harrison will definitely play Saturday. To what extent, we've not decided yet."
Pruitt added about Bailey's opportunities this season, " I feel like the three games that he's played in, obviously, the situations were probably favorable to him at the time based off the score, but I thought he handled himself really well. He continues to improve. The more practice time that he gets, probably the more comfortable he is in the system and his surroundings and the people around him. "
Bailey was thrust into both games where he saw multiple drives against double-digit deficits. Pruitt's comment about favorable situation is likely referencing to the fact that the defenses were dropping seven and eight guys into coverage, but the Vols dropped to pass the majority of the time, which would actually put Bailey at more of a disadvantage.
We have reason to believe that Bailey will get the start on Saturday, but it is like picking a needle out of a haystack at this point, on trying to guess what will happen next at the quarterback position.
Whoever gets the start against the fifth-ranked Gators at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday will have their hands full, as Tennessee's offense has stalled since the second-half of the Georgia game.