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Report: Tennessee knowingly played Brett Kendrick with a concussion; Vols’ AD releases statement

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Here’s what we know.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Texas A&M Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, rumors began to pile up regarding the status of Tennessee senior offensive lineman Brett Kendrick. Kendrick is a mainstay of media availability, but was a no-show during the Monday and Tuesday sessions.

According to The Read Optional, Kendrick is dealing with a concussion. They are reporting that the Tennessee staff knew about the injury, but continued to play him against Kentucky.

Communications received by The Read Optional show that Tennessee’s staff knowingly played a player with a concussion. Brett Kendrick, the team’s starting right tackle, played at least two quarters of Saturday’s loss against Kentucky with a concussion, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Kendrick exited the game during the final drive.

The report says that it is unclear when or what head coach Butch Jones knew about the injury. Mike Griffith of SEC Country reports that Jones denied having any knowledge of the situation during a meeting with Tennessee AD John Currie on Sunday.

I was hesitant to post this until I saw it from another outlet, but all the noise has prompted a response from Currie — which tells me this story has some legs.

UPDATE: Butch Jones via SEC teleconference.

“We would never, ever knowingly put an athlete in harms way. I have no say in these decisions. The SEC has an independent examiner at each game.”

Full comments from Butch here.

UPDATE: Clay Travis reports that an internal investigation is happening as we speak. He also reports that Kendrick wasn’t given a concussion test.