KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s injuries are starting to mount — again.
The latest news involves middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. suffering a torn meniscus, a source told SEC Country on Saturday.
Kirkland Jr.’s status has yet to be addressed, but he’s likely to miss the opening game against Georgia Tech at 8 p.m. on Sept. 4 in Atlanta.
Drew Richmond out?
Could left tackle Drew Richmond also miss the game with the Yellow Jackets?
Coach Butch Jones attributed Richmond missing work to an undisclosed condition, and sophomore Marcus Tatum has been receiving a great deal of work at the position.
Offensive coordinator Larry Scott said Friday that the “starting left tackle in Atlanta, it’s still open, it’s a work in progress who will be the [starting] five.”
The Vols had a historically high amount of injuries last season, with 17 of 22 position starters missing at least one game due to injury.
Historic injury count
Tennessee’s 52 missed starts due to injury last season were the most in the nation, leading to the Vols starting seven different offensive lines, seven different defensive lines, eight different linebacking combinations and 11 different secondaries.
“We lost confidence and momentum, and there was a cumulative effect to a long season,” Shoop said last season. “We had devastating, devastating injuries — it wasn’t like it was a twisted ankle or a bruised hand.
“We had guys miss significant amounts of time, and therefore not only did guys have to play before their time, but they had to play more snaps than they were ready to play.”
Fall injuries updated
Tennessee receiver Josh Smith suffered a sprained AC joint in practice last Sunday when he landed awkwardly.
The Vols announced at the start of fall drills that junior right tackle Chance Hall was having season-ending knee surgery, and a week later, freshman tackle K’Rohjn Calbert suffered a knee injury.
In the cases of Smith, Hall and Calbert, each had pre-existing injuries.
Incoming freshman receiver Jacquez Jones also suffered a season-ending knee injury in fall drills.
Jones said earlier this week that senior graduate transfer cornerback Shaq Wiggins has been sidelined by a hip injury but should return to practice on Monday.
Defensive tackle Shy Tuttle has been working to get back from the knee injury he suffered against South Carolina last October, and on Thursday he went live against the offense in drills for the first time.
Defensive line coach Brady Hoke said Friday that junior defensive tackle Quay Picou was fighting to get back from a thigh injury, and junior defensive tackle Alexis Johnson had a “tweak” but is making progress
The post Tennessee football injuries: Could OT Drew Richmond also miss Georgia Tech game? appeared first on SEC Country.
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