Gamecocks’ Dowdle likely out vs. Tennessee with sprained knee

Gamecocks’ Dowdle likely out vs. Tennessee with sprained knee
South Carolina running back Rico Dowdle (5) breaks loose against Kentucky during second-quarter action in Columbia, S.C. on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA) (Source: Sideline Carolina)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina will likely head to Neyland Stadium on Saturday without the services of running back Rico Dowdle.

Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp announced Tuesday that the senior running back would not play against the Volunteers due to a sprained knee.

“He is moving around a little bit. I don’t know that he’ll be available this weekend, but he is moving around,” Muschamp said. “There is no surgery required. I don’t know a timetable, but my guess would be probably not for this weekend.”

Dowdle exited the game after picking up eight yards on the first play from scrimmage against Florida last weekend. So far this year, Dowdle has rushed for 100 yards twice. He has 457 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.

Dowdle has battled injuries throughout his tenure at South Carolina. He suffered a sports hernia during his freshman year which kept him out of the first four games of the season. As a sophomore, Dowdle missed the final five regular-season games after his leg was broken during the Tennessee game. In his junior season, he suffered an ankle injury. This spring, he was limited with a groin injury.

“There's no question, that guy has been through a lot,” Muschamp said. “He's even had some very more legitimate injuries than you'd like to have a young man have. And so very, very relieved that he's not going to have to have surgery and hopefully get him back sooner than later.”

The Gamecocks will turn to Tavien Feaster and Mon Denson to carry the load in the run game this week. Feaster rushed for 175 yards while Denson added 58 in the loss to Florida.

South Carolina will face Tennessee at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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