Tennessee safety Eric Berry hasn't given up on his dreams to play offense this season.
The sophomore said UT has worked on an offensive package in which he joins receiver Gerald Jones in the G-Gun, in which Jones plays quarterback.
"They've got some stuff up their sleeve," Berry said of UT's coaches. "It's going to be pretty interesting once they decide to do it."
Berry, who played quarterback for four years at Fairburn High School in Creekside, Ga., said he was supposed to play on offense against Auburn on Sept. 27. Just before he was to enter the game, a penalty against the Vols caused UT's coaches to decide against unveiling the package.
UT coach Phillip Fulmer downplayed the likelihood that Berry will be playing offense anytime soon, including Saturday's game against Georgia.
"If he got hurt, you guys would say, 'Why the hell did you play him on offense?' " Fulmer said to the assembled reporters on Tuesday.
During preseason camp, Berry told the media that UT coaches told him that he'd get a shot on offense this season, possibly like Jones.
"Gerald gives us basically the same thing," Fulmer said. "We just don't have the depth at safety we would like to have."
Berry, who is tied for the SEC lead in interceptions with three, understands the concern for his wellness considering how important he is to UT's defense.
"I really don't have a true backup," Berry said. "If anything happened on offense, if I got hurt, they'd have to bring in a young guy."
That could be freshman Prentiss Waggner. UT could also shift Dennis Rogan to safety and play Marsalous Johnson or Brent Vinson at Rogan's cornerback spot.
Fulmer said there is also concern about fatigue.
"Eric is on a lot of special teams," Fulmer said.
Berry said he's averaging about 60 plays per game on defense and special teams but insisted he could still play a few snaps on offense.
Obviously, defensive backs coach Larry Slade doesn't want to lose Berry. But Slade sees the possibilities every time Berry touches the ball.
Considering his position, that's been more often than one would expect. Berry has six interceptions and 271 interception return yards in his career.
"It's a touchdown waiting to happen," Slade said. "He's really good with the ball in his hands because of the high expectations he has of himself.
"He could certainly go over there (on offense) and help. He's just one of those types of guys."
Berry is just trying not to get his hopes up.
"If it happens, it happens," he said. "If it doesn't, I'll be hurt a little bit. I'll just have to get the ball on defense somehow."
Injury Report: Fulmer said junior offensive guard Vladimir Richard (knee) is ready to play and participated fully in practice Wednesday.
Senior middle linebacker Ellix Wilson said he's 95-percent recovered from the dislocated shoulder injury he suffered against Auburn.
Wilson said his shoulder feels tighter and hasn't popped out of joint, thanks to having last week off.
Fulmer said senior receiver Lucas Taylor (shoulder) is also ready to play.
Tight end Jeff Cottam said he's never felt healthier after returning to action last week following preseason back surgery.
"I've got to admit, I probably feel better right now than I ever have in college. Ever since I've been in college I've been beat up and bruised," the junior said.
Cottam played only a couple of snaps last week against Northern Illinois but expects to be ready..
"This week, I've been full speed in everything in practice," Cottam said. "Last week, I was only doing half the stuff."
Practice Report: Fulmer was pleased with UT's practice.
"This team - to its credit - has not lost its spirit whatsoever," he said.
It's (Not Just) Academic: Fulmer said the suspensions of reserve offensive linemen Darius Myers and Ramon Johnson wasn't based solely off of one thing.
"This wasn't just academics," Fulmer said. "I don't want it to sound like it was."
Fulmer said Jarrod Shaw will be UT's first offensive tackle off the bench in light of the most recent suspensions.
Fulmer added that he was pleased with the SEC's new rule that punishes players with suspensions for missing class.
He Talks!: After declining media interviews last week following another costly fumble, senior tailback Arian Foster addressed reporters.
"I'm fine," Foster said when asked of his mental state. "Football is football and you're going to have your roller-coaster ride, your ups and downs.
"I smile through it all. That's me."
Drew Edwards contributed to this report.