Vanderbilt running back Warren Norman sat out Monday’s workout with a knee ailment.
Coach Robbie Caldwell said he had no details about the particulars of the injury but to err on the side of precaution with the 2009 SEC Freshman of the Year.
“He’s going to get checked out on Wednesday, he’s got an MRI and everything so we’ll find out more about what the details are,” Caldwell said. “We have no clue if it was last spring or this fall but all of the sudden it just swelled up.”
With Norman joining Wesley Tate and Zac Stacy on the sidelines Vanderbilt turned to freshman cornerback Steven Clarke to bolster depth at running back. Clarke played running back in high school as id with linebacker Micah Powell.
Caldwell says the two could be taking reps at running back until the position heals up.
“We moved Steven over today to let him see how he can do it,” Caldwell said. “Don’t know if he’ll stay there but we’re just going to experiment with a couple there because you see all the yellow jerseys [VU’s practice uniform for injured players] at running back.”
Stacy, who sprained his knee August 13, was in full pads Monday. He ran agility drills on the side and tested his knee in regard to lateral motion and approaching top speed.
Caldwell said Stacy is optimistic about playing on September 4 in the season opener against Northwestern.
• The coaching staff switched focus to Northwestern. Monday’s practice featured scrimmages emulating Northwestern’s offense.
“(Monday) was all Northwestern,” Caldwell said. “That’s what we’re moving towards now. We spent the first nine days putting in our system and now we’re competing against each other.”
• Vanderbilt was scheduled to practice twice on Monday but the coaching staff cancelled the second practice.
The team went to see a movie together in the afternoon. Caldwell said the viewing was not for motivational purposes but just to get the team away from campus to relax.
• Senior co-captain and starting center Joey Bailey returned to action after having missed time with soreness in his Achilles tendon.
Tight end Brandon Barden also practiced after missing a few days with a hyper-extended elbow suffered last week.
“It looked like they didn’t have any problems running around out there so it’s pretty good I think,” said Caldwell.
• Caldwell said redshirt-junior defensive back Jamie Graham (groin) and junior safety Sean Richardson (turf toe) are both on the mend and will be ready to play shortly.