Tennessee football's Warren Burrell out for season; Cedric Tillman has surgery

Adam Sparks
Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel said cornerback Warren Burrell is out for the season with an upper-body injury.

Burrell has 22 career starts, but he's been sidelined since suffering an injury in the Vols' win over Pittsburgh in Week 2. His loss comes as Tennessee is trying to improve its struggling pass defense, which ranks No. 128 among 131 FBS teams.

Heupel also confirmed wide receiver Cedric Tillman had surgery on his injured ankle, but did not rule him out for the LSU game.

"Cedric did have surgery. It just gave him the opportunity to speed up the recovery process," Heupel said Monday at his weekly press conference. "We'll see where he's at . He was limited but moving around a little bit today. We'll continue to see how it unfolds this week and see where we're at."

No. 8 Tennessee (4-0, 1-0 SEC) will play at LSU (4-1, 2-0) on Saturday (noon ET, ESPN). Then the Vols will host No. 1 Alabama (4-0, 1-0) on Oct. 15.

Last week, Heupel said he was "hopeful" that Tillman would "be available when we go down there" to LSU. On Monday, Heupel put conditions on that availability.

"(Tillman) has got to be a functional player and play at the level that we expect him to and what he wants to play at too," Heupel said.

Tillman suffered the injury in a win over Akron in Week 3. Without him, the Vols got career-best performances from Bru McCoy and Ramel Keyton in a 38-33 win over Florida. McCoy had 102 yards receiving and one TD. Keyton had 69 yards receiving, including a 43-yard catch in a 99-yard touchdown drive that turned the game.

Heupel said he expects cornerback Dee Williams to make his Tennessee debut against LSU. Williams, a junior college transfer, missed the first four games with an undisclosed injury. The Vols have allowed 309.3 passing yards per game, including 453 yards against Florida.

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