Taking advantage of an open date and academic scheduling, the Vols had an early morning workout Thursday after which coach Phillip Fulmer gave the team the weekend off.
Fulmer said the open date came at an opportune time for healing and improvement.
"This was a good week to heal bumps and bruises and to work with our younger players," Fulmer said. "It also gave us three good days to work on our kicking game and a jump start on our preparations for next week's game against Crimson Tide. We should be a
t near 100 percent when we get back to work Monday."
The good news was welcome to the offensive line, which lost two starters in the win against LSU on Sept. 29. Guard Jason Respert's ankle injury required surgery, putting him on the shelf for the rest of the season. However, offensive tackle Reggie Coleman
appears fully recovered from his ankle injury and will reassume his starting position at left tackle. Anthony Herrera will return to his right guard spot after a one-week stay at the tackle position.
Fulmer also said junior receiver Donte' Stallworth would be back on the practice field Monday and should have the cast removed from his wrist Wednesday. Even though his playing status is still questionable, his return to practice is good news for the Vols
' receiving corps. Stallworth, the top returning from 2000, hasn't played since being injured in the Syracuse game. Fulmer did say that defensive end Will Overstreet, who was also injured against LSU, is still listed as doubtful as the Vols begin preparat
ions for Alabama.
When Tennessee hits the field Monday, it will begin a stretch of seven consecutive games in as many weeks. The 2001 schedule and the terrorist attacks, which caused postponement of the Florida game from Sept. 15 to Dec. 1, have resulted in three open date
s mixed in with four games. With the Vols at 3-1 overall (2-1 SEC), it's important for the team to be ready for a stretch which includes five conference games, a trip to Notre Dame and a Homecoming match with Memphis. The first of this stretch is back-to-
back SEC games against Alabama (Oct. 20 at Tuscaloosa) and at home against South Carolina (Oct. 27), before the trip to South Bend, Ind., on Nov. 3. The Vols conclude the schedule with Memphis on Nov. 10, a road contest at Kentucky on Nov. 17 and the home
season finale Nov. 24 against Vanderbilt before the rescheduled game at Florida on Dec. 1.
The Vols and Tide will square off on CBS with kickoff slated for 3:30 p.m.