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Tiyon Evans injury: Status of running back for Tennessee vs. South Alabama

The Volunteers can clinch a spot in a bowl game with a win on Saturday night. Will Tennessee have their starting running back available?

Running back Tiyon Evans of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the 1st quarter fo the game against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 02, 2021 in Columbia, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Tennessee Volunteers will be heavy favorites in their final two games and need just one win to get to a bowl game in what has been an impressive Year 1 under Josh Heupel. Tennessee will host the South Alabama Jaguars on Saturday night but could be without their leading rusher Tiyon Evans.

Evans missed last week’s 41-17 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs as he has battled through injuries all season long. Heupel did not reveal what the injury is or whether Evans would be available for Saturday’s game but said he doesn’t believe it is a season-ending injury.

Despite missing nearly four full games this season, Evans leads the team with 525 yards on 81 attempts with six touchdowns in his first season at Tennessee as a junior college transfer.

Without Evans unavailable, Jabari Small rushed 12 times for 49 yards against Georgia, and Jaylen Wright ran for 14 yards on five carries. If Evans is unable to go, expect Small to see more touches than Wright once again, and Hendon Hooker will be a significant part of the team’s rushing attack.

Small has 436 yards on 88 carries with four touchdowns, and Wright carried the ball 40 times for 160 yards with two touchdowns this season.

Right now Tennessee is a 27.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 62.