KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. suffered a torn meniscus in his knee, according to a source with knowledge of the injury.
Kirkland Jr. suffered the injury in Friday’s practice.
Tennessee has been working Colton Jumper at the position heavily in spring and fall drills, as Kirkland missed the Orange and White Game in April with a pulled hamstring.
Kirkland suffered a non-contact knee injury after spring drills that led to him having arthroscopic knee surgery in June, according to linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen.
Sophomore middle linebacker Daniel Bituli has also been hampered by a knee injury and has had to miss practice time.
The No. 25-ranked Vols open the season at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 4, against Georgia Tech at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The Yellow Jackets went 3-0 against the SEC last season have have won five of the past six against the league.
Kirkland suffered a high ankle sprain against Virginia Tech last season in the second game of the season and didn’t return until the South Carolina game in October.
Kirkland said he was “about 65 percent” against the Gamecocks, and didn’t feel he was fully up to speed until the Vols’ Music City Bowl win over Nebraska in December.
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