Vols quarterback Jarrett Guarantano left the game against Southern Miss with an apparent ankle injury.
The training staff heavily taped Guarantano's right ankle in the first half and he tried to play through the injury. With about six minutes left in the second quarter, Guarantano was hit on a completion to Jordan Murphy. He stayed on the ground and was checked on by trainers. He left the game for three plays and was replaced by true freshman Will McBride.
The redshirt freshman Guarantano returned to the game after three plays and finished the drive, leading the Vols to a field goal.
McBride started the second half at quarterback with Guarantano on the sideline and Guarantano eventually went back to the locker room. McBride now loses the opportunity to redshirt this season.
"Will has been ready to go for a number of weeks now. He's been ready and he wants to play," head coach Butch Jones said after the game. "To be very candid with you, he has to play."
"Will has a quiet confidence about himself, he doesn't get rattled much."
McBride completed one of eight attempts for 13 yards and rushed for seven yards in his collegiate debut.
Guarantano was 9-13 passing for 102 yards and a rushing touchdown in the first half.
"I thought Jarrett did some really good things at the beginning of the game throwing the ball, standing in the pocket. I thought he continued to grow and develop as well until having to leave the game," Jones said. "He could've went back in at the end of the game but we had a lot of confidence in Will."
Jones wouldn't comment on the specifics of Guarantano's injury but said he expects him to be ready to go next week.
The Vols play at Missouri at 7:30 eastern time on November 11.