Source: Jones could miss 4-6 weeks

Updated: August 24, 2009, 1:00 AM ET
By Bruce Feldman | ESPN The Magazine

Tennessee's depleted receiving corps took another hit this weekend.

Gerald Jones, the Vols' top wide receiver, suffered a high ankle sprain in a scrimmage Saturday. A source close to the team says Jones could be out four to six weeks, but the team is optimistic he might return Sept. 12, when UCLA visits Knoxville in the Vols' second game.

Jones, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior who led the Vols in catches (30) and touchdown receptions (four) in 2008, had been battling through a wrist injury in camp. Tennessee already is without junior Denarius Moore (foot injury), who will be sidelined likely until mid-September and senior Austin Rogers (torn ACL), who will miss the entire season.

The loss of Jones means the Vols will likely open the season with Quintin Hancock and converted tight end Brandon Warren as their two starting wideouts. Behind them are a trio of true freshmen -- Marsalis Teague, Nu'Keese Richardson and Zach Rogers, who are now being counted on to contribute to the offense.

Bruce Feldman is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.