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Report: Tennessee linebacker Austin Smith likely to miss opener against Georgia Tech

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

The hits just keep on coming for the Tennessee Volunteers.

According to a report from 247 Sports, Tennessee linebacker Austin Smith is dealing with a knee injury. The sophomore linebacker missed all of last season, but was expected to make an huge impact for the Volunteers this season.

Smith was listed as the starter at strong-side linebacker and was expected to help out as a pass rusher. According to 247 sports, Smith is expected to miss the season opener against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Tennessee has already ruled starting middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. out for the season with a meniscus injury. The timetable for Austin Smith hasn’t been made clear yet, but this is another blow to the linebacker depth chart.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Volunteers juggle their linebackers on Monday against Georgia Tech — a team that requires plenty of game-planning and discipline. Needless to say, this isn’t the ideal situation for defensive coordinator Bob Shoop.