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Report: Tennessee linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. suffers knee injury; Out indefinitely

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Bad news.

NCAA Football: Tennessee Volunteers football practice Calvin Mattheis-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple outlets are reporting that Tennessee linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. has suffered a knee injury. The injury was believed to be sustained during Friday’s practice session.

The junior linebacker missed five games last season before finishing strong. Kirkland had emerged as a defensive leader for the Vols after two outstanding seasons in 2015 and 2016. Now his status is in doubt.

The Tennessee staff has yet to comment on the situation. A report from Volquest.com says that Kirkland suffered a “non-contact” injury. Volquest also reports that he is out against Georgia Tech and possibly longer.

We ranked Kirkland the 4th most important Volunteer this offseason.

Colton Jumper will likely slide into his middle linebacker spot against Georgia Tech. Playing against the flexbone triple option, Jumper will take on tons of responsibility. I would expect Will Ignont and Daniel Bituli to see plenty of time in the rotation as well.

UPDATE

We will update this story as we get more information.