Tennessee may be a bit short-handed inside the trenches during spring practice.
Vols coach Butch Jones said five defensive linemen will be held out of spring ball because of various injuries, according to 247Sports.com’s Wes Rucker. That list includes rising juniors Derek Barnett and Kendal Vickers along with rising sophomores Shy Tuttle, Kyle Phillips and Andrew Butcher.
Barnett was very productive during his sophomore campaign in Knoxville, Tenn. He racked up 69 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and led the Volunteers with 10 sacks in 2015. Vickers recorded 20 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks last season.
Tuttle entered Tennessee as the No. 9 defensive tackle in the Class of 2015, but had his freshman season cut off in October when he sustained a fractured fibula. Phillips recorded eight tackles in seven games. Butcher is still recovering from knee surgery that forced him to take a medical redshirt in 2015.
Tennessee has prepared to supplement its injury-plagued defensive line by moving rising sophomore Austin Davis from linebacker to defensive end along with two other positional changes.