Tennessee WR Cedric Tillman out against Florida due to ankle injury, sources say

8:25 ET

Pete Thamel ESPN

Tennessee’s star receiver Cedric Tillman will not play against Florida on Saturday due to an ankle injury, sources told ESPN.

Tillman injured his ankle midway through the second quarter against Akron last week. With Tennessee saying goodbye next week, there is optimism he could return for the Volunteers’ next game at LSU on Oct. 8, sources said.

Tillman went into the season as the SEC’s most prolific returning receiver and a preseason selection for all first-team conferences, and he is considered Tennessee’s greatest receiving threat. In three games this season, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Tillman had 17 catches for 246 yards and a touchdown.

Tillman’s absence will be significant for a Tennessee offense that relies heavily on passing play and vertical routes. Veteran Volunteers Hendon Hooker quarterback is expected to look more closely at dynamic closing receiver Jalin Hyatt, who also poses a major threat and is Tennessee’s leading pass-catcher this season with 18 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns. USC transfer Bru McCoy, who starts on the other side of the wide receiver position, is likely to see more goals. He has caught eight passes for 109 yards and one touchdown this year.

Tillman’s replacement in the starting lineup is expected to be senior Ramel Keyton, who has five catches for 114 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore Walker Merrill was also able to see more snaps.

Tennessee enters No. 3 nationally in total offense (553.7 YPG) and No. 5 in transient offense (371.3) on Saturday. They are number 4 in scoring with 52.0 points per game.

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