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Vols’ leading rusher ‘could definitely play’

Tennessee v Mississippi State Getty Images

Even as it may be too late to save his head coach’s job, buyout or not, Tennessee could see the return of its top running back for this weekend’s non-conference matchup.

Rajion Neal led the SEC in rushing yards through the first five games of the season, but suffered an ankle injury in the Oct. 13 loss to Mississippi State. That injury cost Neal the next two games as the Vols’ running game ground to a near halt; Neal had rushed for 500 yards in five-plus games, while UT could manage just 170 total in losses to Alabama and South Carolina without him.

This Saturday against Troy, though, Neal could be back.  Even as Neal’s not 100-percent healthy, Derek Dooley said Tuesday the back “could definitely play.”

For his part, Neal is optimistic.  And champing at the bit to get on the field with his teammates.

“It’s really hard to put in words how hard it is to sit over there on the sideline in your uniform knowing that you can’t really go out there and help your team,” Neal said according to the Chattanooga Times Free-Press. “That’s a big challenge, and I didn’t know it was going to be that hard. It’s a terrible feeling, a real terrible feeling, especially when you see how close these guys are getting and how they’re out there fighting.”

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1 Response to “Vols’ leading rusher ‘could definitely play’”
  1. southernpatriots says: Oct 31, 2012 2:40 PM

    Rajon was/is the Tennessee running game. That was proven by his absence. It is really good to see him able to return. The Troy game is a good time for him to return and get that under his belt before Missouri.

    The good thing is that Tennessee’s hard part of the schedule is now over but it is still SEC teams/games coming after Troy, so anything can happen. Best to Rajon as he gets that ankle stronger and is able to get back to league-leading totals again.

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