|ESPN.com: College Football||[Print without images]|
The hits keep coming for Tennessee's receiving corps.
With senior Austin Rogers already out for the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the Vols now face the likelihood of going into the season without junior Denarius Moore.
Moore, Tennessee's top returning deep threat, has a broken bone in his left foot and will be sidelined for eight to 12 weeks. He's currently in a walking boot and is facing surgery.
The Vols open the season against Western Kentucky on Sept. 5 before facing UCLA the next week and then traveling to Florida on Sept. 19.
Moore caught just 11 passes last season but averaged 24.6 yards per catch. Both of his touchdown catches were long ones, a 63-yarder against Kentucky and 52-yarder against Northern Illinois. He's one of the few players among the Vols' returning receivers with game-breaking speed.
The injury to Moore is the third significant one this offseason to a Tennessee offensive player.
Rogers tore his ACL last Friday during voluntary workouts and will have surgery in the next week or two. He's Tennessee's active career leader with 76 receptions and has already used up his redshirt year. He'll have to apply to the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility to continue his career at Tennessee.
Freshman running back Toney Williams, who was coming off a promising spring, underwent ACL surgery last week after hurting his right knee earlier this summer during workouts.
Depending on how long Moore is out, the Vols will go into the 2009 season with only one wide receiver on the roster who caught more than 10 passes last season.
Incoming freshmen Nu'Keese Richardson, Marsalis Teague and Zach Rogers, the younger brother of Austin Rogers, will all get chances right away to show what they can do.
The Vols had only eight touchdown passes last season.
College football blogger Chris Low covers the SEC for ESPN.com.