KNOXVILLE, Tenn. | Tennessee tight end Jeff Cottam will have surgery on his back Wednesday and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
Coach Phillip Fulmer said Cottam has been having problems with his back for some time. Cottam also missed part of spring practice after breaking a bone in his right leg.
He started six games during 2007 in place of his older brother, Brad Cottam, who injured his wrist. Jeff Cottam caught four passes for 19 yards and a touchdown last year and was competing for the starting job this season now that Brad Cottam's eligibility has expired.
The news of Cottam's surgery came the same day the 18th-ranked Vols learned the NCAA cleared tight end Brandon Warren to play. Sophomore Luke Stocker also is competing for the starting job at tight end.