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Tennessee Football: Butch Jones Rules Two Key Players Out for the Year

Bad news.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee can’t shake the injury bug. It’s been a consistent theme dating back to last season. Butch Jones announced more bad news today, ruling starters Cortez McDowell and Jauan Jennings out for the year.

Jennings was one of the most important players to Tennessee, but went down in the first half against Georgia Tech with a wrist injury. There was some hope that he could return later in the year, but Jones ruled him out for the year this morning.

Butch gave the same diagnosis for linebacker Cortez McDowell, who also has a wrist injury. Tennessee has now lost their two primary linebackers in McDowell and Darrin Kirkland Jr. for the season. Bob Shoop will have his work cut out for him as he looks ahead to Georgia.

Thankfully for Tennessee, Marquez Callaway has emerged as a legitimate threat on the outside in place of Jauan Jennings. We’ll see who emerges at linebacker for the Vols, with Quart’e Sapp and Elliott Berry likely to see more time.

Shoop has to find a way to get Daniel Bituli on the field more, in my opinion. He’s probably the best linebacker Tennessee has, but didn’t play much against the Gators. He may be forced onto the field as the injuries pile up.