Michael Sawyers returns to Vols practice
Tennessee defensive tackle Michael Sawyers returned to practice Thursday. The freshman has been kept off the field multiple times this season due to unspecified off-the-field issues.
Head coach Butch Jones said he was happy to have the former four-star prospect back with the team, but noted that Sawyers’ status as a defensive tackle has yet to be determined.
“Michael’s been back,” Jones said after Thursday’s two-hour practice inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center. “We’ve moved him around a little bit, just because of scout teams from the offensive lines and defensive lines. We’ll continue to evaluate him, and he knows what he has to do. But it’s been good to have him back.”
Tennessee’s depth at offensive line is thin and the unit struggled throughout the regular season. The Vols ranked No. 118 in sacks allowed with a total of 42 and an average of 3.5 per game. Tennessee also ranked No. 124 in tackles for loss allowed, ahead of only Wake Forest with 97.
Sawyers saw limited action during his first collegiate season, making three appearances as a reserve. The freshman recorded both of his tackles against Chattanooga on Oct.11, but hasn’t played since.